By Chris Stigall

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The controversy over the statue of former mayor and police commissioner Frank Rizzo is nothing new to South Philadelphia resident Mark Ferguson, who started a petition last year to keep the statue in place. Then Councilwoman Helen Gym tweeted out comments that resurrected the notion of taking down or moving the statue.

Ferguson told Chris Stigall on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT that they stepped up, and got another petition going.

“Currently we are reaching 25,000 signatures in favor of keeping the statue.”

Now the City is taking suggestions on what to do with the statue, as Mayor Jim Kenney has to make a specific request to the Art Commission. A web page has been set up to gather ideas to aid in formulating the proposed request.  Ferguson hopes to have the petition of 25,000 people incorporated into that decision-making process.

“Even if the Art Commission decides they want to tear down the statue for whatever reason, they still have to defer that to the original owner of the statue, which was Frank Rizzo Jr., who wants it to stay where it’s at.”

The deadline for submissions is September 15.