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New Park to Be Named “Crescent Beach Family Park”

05/31/2011 at 4:06pm

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 Beach.”

 

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 Family Park 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 island.”

 

Commissioner Ray Judah said that while he agrees with recognizing the history, he recommends the name Crescent Beach Park. 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 Beach Park”.

 

"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.

 

Judah refused to amend it to add the word family and the motion failed. Hall then made a motion to name it Crescent Beach Family Park, 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.

 

Keri Hendry