After hearing responses from Lauren Giddings' family, Macon city council president James Timley still opposes the idea of putting up a memorial bench for the slain Mercer law grad.
Giddings' cousin, Kathy Mann, says, "I would think that they city would not turn away a donation for a park bench or a tree or an arbor or anything that would improve a park site."
Timley thinks the bench should be built on Mercer's campus instead of at a city park, but family members say they chose Washington Park because it was one of Giddings' favorite spots in Macon.
Timley responded to that by saying, "That's the family's opinion and they're entitled to that, but I don't doubt that she didn't love Washington Park. I don't doubt that she didn't love Mercer University."
He says if the city allows the memorial bench for Giddings, they will have to give everyone the same opportunity.
"How many benches do we put in there? It's a city park," says Timley. "Then when that one fills up, where do we go from there? Do we put them in all city parks? Then does it become a grave site or does it become more of a memorial for graves? Do you separate the difference between a graveyard and a city park?"
But Tom Ellington and other city council members plan to help the Giddings family fight for a spot in the park.
Ellington says, "I'm very sensitive to the pain that the Giddings family has already been through, and I hope that we don't do anything to add to that pain. I think the bench will be a nice and appropriate memorial for her."
He says, as long as it doesn't use taxpayer money, he would support anyone who wanted to add a memorial for a lost loved one.
The public properties committee will discuss the memorial during their next meeting.