New Park to Be Named "Crescent
Beach Family Park”
It’s official – the name of Fort Myers
Beach’s newest park is Crescent
Beach Family Park.
At their regular meeting this morning, the Board of Lee County Commissioners
deliberated over the names chosen by the Town Council and consulted with
Barbara Manzo of Lee County
Parks and Recreation before
agreeing 3-2 to the new name.
Vice Mayor Bob Raymond and islander Betty Simpson – who serves on
the Community Advisory Boards for both the Town and the county, addressed the
BoCC before the vote – Simpson during public comment, and Raymond when asked to
by Commission Chairman Frank Mann.
Simpson urged the commissioners to go with the Crescent
Beach name, saying that the island
has been called that since before the turn of the 20th century.
Barbara Manzo of Lee County
Parks and Recreation agreed, saying
that was the name that her group came up with at their meeting in March.
"If you recall, a while ago, we told you that Parks and
Recreation recommended Crescent Beach,
and then we realized that we had failed to work with the Town on the name,” she
said. "However, that doesn’t change our recommendation – the council chose
Shell Arches, but we still recommend Crescent
When Mann asked for input from Vice Mayor Bob Raymond, he told
the Board that the council asked for input from the residents through the local
papers, and that the name Shell Arches
was chosen by Town Council based on that input.”
The Board wanted to know exactly how many votes went for each
name, and Raymond explained that the ‘Family’ had been added for marketing
purposes. "We want people to know that we’re not the ‘over the hill place’, nor
are we a place to come get as drunk as possible,” he said. "We are a family
Commissioner Ray Judah said that while he agrees with recognizing
the history, he recommends the name Crescent
Commissioner Brian Bigelow pointed out that the Arches were actually located on
the "San Carlos Island”
side of the bridge (San Carlos Island
actually didn’t exist when the Arches were built, since it was created in the
hurricane that came several years after the arches were built).
Manzo objected to the inclusion of the word ‘family’, saying that
all Lee Parks are family parks. Judah
then made a motion that the park be named "Crescent
"I don’t see why it would be inappropriate to add the word family
if that’s what they want,” said Commissioner Tammy Hall. Bigelow agreed, saying
he wanted to give the town at least one of the things they asked for.
refused to amend it to add the word family and the motion failed. Hall then
made a motion to name it Crescent Beach
which passed 3-2 (Manning and Judah dissenting).
After the meeting, Raymond said he was pleased with the decision.
"I liked the name Shell Arches, but they can still put a replica
of the arches in the park with it named Crescent
Beach,” he said. "I’m going to ask
them to.” Raymond was particularly
pleased about the inclusion of the word ‘family’. At the council meeting on the
23rd where council agreed to ask for family to be included, it was
Councilman Raymond who initially pushed for the idea.
"This will let everyone know that this is going to be a family
park,” he said.