LARGO -- People who live directly adjacent to where Largo plans to hold concerts -- on the order of four or so a year -- have not been thoroughly educated to that fact, so Commissioner Charlie Harper pulled from the commission's agenda last week a measure that would have totally green lighted the program.
The use of the area east of the new library -- all part of Largo Central Park, but this area yet to be specifically named -- is planned as a concert and performance area, according to plans outlined by Joan Byrne, parks and recreation director, at the commission's August 10 meeting.
At that time, Harper advanced the cautionary that nearby residents be made aware of the plans.
On August 17, when he had the measure pulled from the "consent agenda," where otherwise it would have been legally endorsed, Harper reiterated his concern and said he wants to hear of a plan for notifying neighboring residents.
When the commission discussed the matter, Commissioner Pat Gerard advanced a go-slow procedure. She wants to see what happens with the first such program next April before hurtling into total commitment.
One name advanced for the area is "Festival Woods." It is in the area in which the Renaissance Festival used to be held.
In the meantime, a letter arrived at the city hall from one of the nearby residents.
Addressed to Mayor Bob Jackson, it said in part, ". . .you will recall we were blessed with the presence of of the Renaissance Festival for more than two decades," using, obviously, the word blessed in the French sense of being wounded.
"The festival has left, and we have had peace in our backyards. Now I read that a series of rock concerts are being planned outside our back doors. Isn't enough enough?" the writer wailed.
He went on to point out that he and his fellow residents are not people who bought houses beside an existing airport and then complain. "We bought beside a park," he wrote.
Another item Harper had pulled from the August 17 agenda was a matter dealing with rules for use of Central Park in events which the city co-sponsors.
This arises from language in the proposed modification to ban any religious, political or commercial co-sponsorship.
The contention arises from the July Fourth festivities in which Indian Rocks Baptist and Shiloh Baptist churches played prominent roles in the absence of the city not wanting to spend money on the birthday celebration of America.
Instead, the churches put on a patriotic program and a barbecue with no religious overtones. Some people mistakenly think that the sort of involvement that occurred July 4 violates the doctrine of separation of church and state, a subject on which most who opine in their ignorance know little or nothing.
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