Spare Manatee County school's park from sale, development

April 17, 2014 

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McKelvey Park was dedicated and named for Bob McKelvey, for his 38 years of service at Jessie P. Miller Elementary School in Bradenton. GRANT JEFFERIES/Bradenton Herald file photo

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Manatee County School Board Chair Julie Aranibar recently stated she and other board members are trying to restore credibility to the school district's financial base by verifying assets that are needed and doing away with those things that are not being used by selling tangibles to outside buyers for profits.

A small area along Manatee Avenue West and 43rd Street West that used to be the entrance to Miller Elementary School is now a three-acre parcel of land set aside to honor Bob McKelvey who gave so much of his life and career to the school. The posted sign says: McKelvey Park.

Ms. Aranibar says it is not a park, has no children playing there, no swing sets, sand boxes, sliding boards, or any other attractions for children.

So, if there is no immediate gratification, she presumes there is little value to the school district. But, she says, it does have value by selling it to an outside buyer and this could help the school's financial budget.

In an area where traffic is typically bumper to bumper, with all the noises and environmental challenges from a busy commercial area, this little "park" is like an oasis of quiet and fresh air.

Whether McKelvey Park is used as a picnic area, play area, or nothing at all, this parcel has tremendous value as a natural setting of peace and tranquility. A parcel such as this will not be available to the public again at a price we can afford.

This belongs to us, Ms. Aranibar. We have the deed and the discretion about how a valuable property such as this should be used.

Take some time to drive past this lovely piece of property and see whether it should be kept by the school board or sold to a private party.

Do we need another bank, fast-food store, or service station?

Dolores Sauer

Palmetto

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