The fallout around Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer’s planned destruction of historic Tinker Field, where Martin Luther King Jr. spoke in 1964, continues today. New information is becoming available indicating that Orange County staff and Commissioners were never aware of the City plans to demolish historic Tinker Field prior to their Venues vote. This means the entire Venues Package that Mayor Dyer proposed was never fully vetted, nor were the plans fully discussed or debated publicly.
We are learning that this is the first time Orange County staff and Commissioners are hearing about Dyer’s plans to demolish Tinker Field. In fact, one County Commissioner talked to me today by phone and I have now learned that an initial staff review shows no recollection of any mention of Tinker Field or its destruction going back to the 2007 original Venues agreement. I also painstakingly sat through the Venues presentations on numerous occasions prior to the vote and never heard a mention of demolishing Tinker Field. So why is Dyer now destroying the historic site?
How can Orange County claim that the Venues package was an open and democratic process? The County Mayor and Commissioners voted for funding and proposals in which they did not receive full details. The public never had the opportunity to know what these plans really were. On top of all that, Tinker Field is a historic location with historical designation. What does Mayor Jacobs have to say on the matter?
Our community demands more from our elected officials! This is unacceptable.
It’s time for Mayor Jacobs and County Commissioners to stand up and demand an immediate injunction to stop the demolition of historic Tinker Field. We know Buddy Dyer’s track record with demolishing historic and cultural places overnight. We must put this demolition on hold until we receive more answers from our elected officials!
Orange County Commissioners were not presented all the facts. Commissioners were not provided all the plans. This agreement demands further scrutiny.
Without a true public discussion and debate on the merits of the actual plans, we have no democratic process in Orange County. Demand an injunction:
CALL MAYOR JACOBS: 407-836-7370
CALL ORANGE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS: 407-836-7350
On May 14, 2004, Tinker Field was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. According to the City of Orlando, Tinker Field was constructed back in 1923 and is the “most historic of all the Orlando Venues entertainment and sports venues.” It is located directly adjacent to the western side of the Citrus Bowl on West Church Street, and can seat more than 5,000 people. More importantly, Tinker Field is the site of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic Orlando speech, who spoke there in 1964. King spoke at the field to a crowd of thousands, about the need for integration and racial equality. Think about what he would have to say today. Dyer also passed an eminent domain resolution to take a local black church in Parramore this week for the soccer stadium.
There is clearly a lot more to this issue than is currently public. More to come.