As a Key Pen Parks Commissioner, my goals for the district are to increase access to our park properties and build a playground on the north end of the Key Peninsula. So I was disappointed when Key Pen Parks decided to put off starting the bid process on Phase I of the new Gateway Park.

My motion to instruct our executive director to have our consultant group release the bid package was defeated by a vote of 3-2 on the incorrect assumption that we will get better pricing if we wait until spring to start work. They fear that working in the fall and winter may add extra costs related to the weather.

Sitting on our hands until springtime could mean our kids will wait as much as an extra six months before they have a playground and before our citizens can use Gateway Park instead of being locked out of this beautiful piece of public property.

Board President Mark Michel stated during the meeting that he has never heard anybody complain about the fact that the vast majority of our park property is under lock and key.

I plan to reintroduce the motion to start the bid process again at the next meeting on Sept. 12 at 7 p.m. at Volunteer Park. Please contact the executive director and other commissioners and let them know that you support opening Gateway Park as soon as possible (884-9240 or answers@keypenparks.com). Let them know our kids have waited long enough for a playground and we want public park spaces that are actually open to the public.

John Kelly

Key Pen Parks Commissioner

In Support of Randy Spitzer
Key Pen Parks President Responds