A court date looms in the case brought by residents against the City of Bradenton for their decision to give Glazier Gates Park for private development in return for property along the Manatee River, which in part will be hidden behind the Villages of Riverwalk mid-rise apartment complex.
To refresh public memory, the city failed to notify the Old Manatee neighborhood of the plan, and only hastily added the item to the City Council agenda less than 24 hours before the vote to approve the project's "predevelopment agreement."
Through the course of council procedures, which culminated in unanimous approval of the 500-plus apartment complex, only two citizens came forward in favor of the project whereas nearly two dozen citizens voiced opposition, and more than 1,200 residents signed a petition to save Glazier Gates and it's century-old oaks from the chopping axe.
The Bradenton Herald issue of Oct. 24, 2015, reported, "Girl, 10, criticizes decision to relocate park" with the following statement; "City officials have argued all along the Mineral Springs area has historical significance, not Glazier Gates Park."
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How ludicrous! Although true that the Mineral Springs area was the original settlement of Old Manatee, Indian Springs Park was not established until 1982. Evidence proves Glazier Gates Park has been in existence over 70 years -- nearly 40 years longer! Both parks have their place in local history.
For perspective, did the Civil War, Second World War or Vietnam conflict negate or diminish the historical significance of the Revolutionary War? Absolutely not!
This rhetoric by city officials is nothing more than a ploy to make this palatable to the public -- the city's shameful actions to give a historic park and valuable highway frontage to private development.
Glazier Gates Park deserves better recognition as being one of the oldest established parks in Bradenton.