SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - The Sarasota City Commission is currently deciding whether to move forward with the Sarasota Orchestra’s request to make Payne Park its new home, but many feel it may completely change the landscape of the park, if the city approves the plan.
“The green space is a value to the community, especially to people around the city who just want to go to these parks. It’s just a disastrous situation, especially for wildlife,” said Mikael Sandstrom.
Vice President of Preserve Payne Park Sami Leigh Scott agrees. She supports the orchestra’s growth, but her opposition to the move goes a lot deeper than just playing tennis, also saying the plan goes against the wishes of the original donors of the park.
“The first obligation the city commissioners should be this legacy that the Paynes bequeathed on behalf of the citizens,” said Scott.
But Sarasota Orchestra President and C.E.O Joseph Mckenna paints a different picture. “We saw the opportunity and we heard from citizens that there was a desire to have a phenomenal Bayfront Park,” said McKenna.