About that “Passive Park” at Truman Waterfront: Harry Bethel’s Open Letter to the Mayor and City Commissioners

Harry Bethel was a 16-year member of the Key West City Commission

Mayor and Commissioners,

I just want to say that I was on the Commission when we acquired the Navy property at the Truman Waterfront and I believe Commissioner Weekley was also on the Commission at that specific time. When we obtained the property there was no doubt it was very clear to the entire Commission that this was the last piece of waterfront property on the island for the residents of our Community. The intent was to turn this property into a VERY NICE passive park for everyone. I said at the meeting that there would be NO commercialization of the Park with the exception of a Marine supply and repair shop for the marina (period). There would be NO restaurants, hotels or any other commercial business. I don’t know who you folks are talking to but I’m not hearing any support for an Amphitheater simply because noise, cost unreasonable traffic congestion, horrendous parking problems and the noise will be unbearable for the residents in that area. Mayor and Commission think about our residents and not the almighty dollar from the hotel and amphitheater. Keep it passive and relaxing for our residents. Just do a nice landscaping with nice shade trees, picnic tables with roofs and permanent Bar-B-Ques like we had at the Higgs County Beach. Any of the Commissioners that voted for the green light on the project can bring it back on the agenda for reconsideration. Do the right thing for our residents not always the $, that’s the Corporate World.

 Thank you.


Facebook Comments

3 thoughts on “About that “Passive Park” at Truman Waterfront: Harry Bethel’s Open Letter to the Mayor and City Commissioners

  1. Well, I believe I’ll withhold public comment until after our Truman Waterfront Advisory Board meeting on Jan. 25th. I did email Harry about his comments, and I also emailed him some time ago about the overall Park Plan. Interestingly, his short article coincided with comments from another former City Commissioner, ‘Fat’ Yaniz, that appears in this week’s issue of ‘Konk Life’ under the heading of Local Observation.

    I’ll report back here in a few days if Naja and Arnaud decide to give me the space.

  2. All of the super wide thoroughfares that are going into Truman Waterfront are going to reduce the amount of green space that should instead be devoted to parking. That can’t be allowed to happen.

  3. The Amphitheater as well as other subjects were discussed at the Truman Waterfront Advisory Board meeting last night, but to me a most important topic that I sponsored, the Police Athletic League (PAL) building and its operation, through circumstances was discussed right at the end of an unusually long meeting. Subsequently, the discussion was cut short. Right to the point:

    The Planning Dept. and a few others want to tentatively demolish the PAL building and Horse Stables – create a recreation field in its place – then build commercial buildings on the existing recreation field right across the street – relocate the PAL operation to the already overcrowded area of the Douglass Gym – Horse Stables and Mounted Patrol would appear to then be disbanded or moved to where? I say and have said that is a bad overall thought……..to put it mildly.

    The Planning Dept. director said the PAL building has outlived its time and should be demolished, but previously when I and others walked around and throughout the building, someone who was a general contractor stated that with $1 million the building could last indefinitely with proper maintenance as it is solid and very well built.

    So, if others get their way, we’ll lose a beautiful open field right by Bahama Village and within the “people’s” Park. Foresight is needed here.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.