published: Sunday, October 20, 2013
CRA gives MLK Day back to community
By PHIL ATTINGER
AVON PARK -- A vocal majority won over the Avon Park Community Redevelopment Agency Board on Thursday.
The Board, consisting of the members of the Avon Park City Council, voted to reject the previous vote to have the CRA sponsor the event.
Instead, they have asked Southside Avon Park community members to bring their plans for the event to the next CRA meeting at 5 p.m. on Oct. 28.
Board member Parke Sutherland said the Southside CRA Advisory Board had planned on a four-day event starting on Jan. 17, 2014, and ending on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 20.
However, approximately 25 community members at the special meeting said they want a one-day event on Jan 20.
"The voice from the majority of the community, those present, is that they wanted to take back the running of the Martin Luther King Jr. events," Sutherland said.
They also want to reroute the parade. For the past two years, it started at Museum Avenue and then followed Main Street to Memorial Field, he said.
They would rather have the parade march through the Southside community.
The CRA Board asked community leaders to submit a proposal for the event, including any funding requests, in time for the board's regular meeting Oct. 28.
At previous meetings of the advisory board, community members objected to the CRA plans -- which included a $10,000 budget and fundraiser on Nov. 1 -- on the basis that it made the event more of a carnival than an remembrance.
They also objected to the high budget, stating those funds would be better served providing home repairs and infrastructure improvements in the Southside CRA district.
Arnold Davis, advisory board alternate, had submitted a request for a small( $3,000 or less) event to the advisory board. He was not available for comment Friday.
However, Advisory Board Chairman Gerald Snell, who had originally supported the four-day event, told the City Council on Monday and the CRA board on Thursday that he fully supported the CRA board's decision.
"It's all volunteers, and I'm OK with that," he said in a phone interview Friday.
The advisory board would still be meeting on Nov. 14, the second Thursday of the month, he said, if anyone has requests for facade grants and other improvements to the Southside district.
Administrative Services Director Maria Sutherland told the advisory board at previous meetings that the CRA had already spent $3,500 to hire Travis Garcia as the event planner and $1,800-$2,000 to bring artist James Hahn to do a live-painting fundraiser on Nov. 1 at the Jacaranda Hotel.
The fundraiser was meant to help offset the costs of the four-day event, since projected revenue from the event was estimated at $6,000 at $25 per ticket.
Snell said, as far as he knew, the fundraiser was still scheduled and could easily pay for the community's funding request, with a surplus.
(by: amw - 10/22/2013)
You got to make noise to get things done! I know that pension man was trying to get the money.
MLK (by: hunt - 10/21/2013)
Bout time, we needs to have are own celebration. That. mayor and council are clueless. Lets celebrate the man in a place be would have more than likely come. Not main st. Shame on shaker and shulerland. And this creative, dillusional, crappy about the pension board has got to stop. People, the administration and council are lying, the proffered is available.
Finally! (by: SS Res - 10/21/2013)
Thank you city council for finally listening to the members of our community.
oh my (by: morherjones - 10/20/2013)
What a cluster -* . There should never have been disputing that MLK Day was to be on the Southside. This city need new leadership, leaders that have a clue about social equity and justice. Currently, those hold the reigns are oblivious to anyone except themselves.
Thank you (by: babyface - 10/20/2013)
spening other $ (by: Blukey - 10/20/2013)
3500 + 2000 = 5500.00 to make 500.00. 10,000 -500 = 9500
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