Manatee County officials are planning a 17-acre park near Sarasota that will have a walking trail, courts for the increasingly popular pickleball games, and a recreation area for dogs.
It’s also going to be named for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
The Bradenton Herald reports that county officials accepted submissions for potential names for the new park. More than 350 people responded. After the deadline had passed in March, almost 100 people had picked DeSantis, the Herald noted, “making it the most popular option among participants.”
The naming vote was the idea of County Commissioner Misty Servia.
At a board meeting on Tuesday, County Commissioner Vanessa Baugh said, “If you look at the survey that was done, there is definitely a name that had more votes than any other name. I will tell you that the people have spoken. It is time for us to move forward and name this park.”
“They want to see it named after our governor. It’s not even close.”
The Herald noted that other names included “Snooty Park,” which honors Bradenton’s famous manatee, and location names like “Tallevast Community Park” and “Prospect Preserve,” while others wanted to name the park after local military personnel killed in the line of duty.
Christina Pushaw, the governor’s press secretary, told the Herald that DeSantis thanked the board for the gesture.
“The governor appreciates the kind recognition of the Manatee County Commission and the people of Manatee County for his work on behalf of Floridians,” Pushaw said. “We look forward to being back in Manatee soon.”
County Commissioner Reggie Bellamy, the board’s only Democrat, questioned whether it was an appropriate move, given that the site is, as one commissioner described it, “a bunch of weeds and a cell tower.”
“I’m wondering if you all are doing Gov. DeSantis a disservice,” said Bellamy. “If you look at any governor that has had something named after him, it has been of a large magnitude.”
Bellamy ultimately cast the lone dissenting vote.
The Herald reported that construction of the park will begin later this year and is expected to be completed in 2023.