Town Manager Roger Hernstadt just can’t get it right when it comes to redeveloping Bayside Park. At first Hernstadt and the town staff presented a 40-foot high view-obstructing building that would have been wedged between Nervous Nellie’s and Snug Harbor.
The town has already squandered an undisclosed sum of money on the first design which was blasted by members of the community once they found out about it.
The town council then tasked Hernstadt to come back with a design that preserved the view of the water and included shade trees and a Veterans Memorial the community could be proud of. However, Hernstadt’s latest attempt at redeveloping the park was labeled uninspiring by the town council yesterday.
There were no shade trees, palm trees still obstruct the view of the water and the monument came across as an after thought.
Councilman Jim Atterholt said he wanted to see the design team attend a council meeting and present the plan. Hernstadt is having issues understanding what the council wants for the park and relaying that to the design consultants. Atterholt also said by only sending a proposed design to the council, which he did by e-mail, the public does not get a chance to see the design. That was the criticism of town staff the first time around when the project grew, without anyone knowing, into the 3-story facility which included public restrooms, staff office space and upland services for the mooring field residents.
Hernstadt said he’s not trying to eliminate the public from the process. “I wanted to share with you what I received. I myself have some questions about it.”
Atterholt said he wants a formal presentation scheduled so the community can see what’s being proposed. “We have a lot of people around that area and we want to make sure they feel like they are part of the process.”
Councilman Dan Allers agreed that the latest drawings are uninspiring and more work needs to be done.
Vice Mayor Rexann Hosafros commented that the shade trees were something they instructed Hernstadt to include in the new design and they mysteriously disappeared.
Atterholt added that the Veterans Memorial was underwhelming. Hernstadt commented to the council that if they see something better on the Internet, regarding the memorial, they should feel free to share that with him.
Local resident and Vietnam Veteran Forest Critser has been trying to get the town to construct some type of Memorial for over four years now.
Hernstadt said there have been several meetings with the public about the project (which isn’t true, there has not been one public hearing on this project). “I feel like sometimes this is like trying to make dinner reservations with 12 friends and you’re asking each one where you want to eat and by the time you get back to the 12th you have to go back to the first one and start all over again.” Hernstadt says he’s looking for feedback from the council now so he can get the design addressed.
Councilman Bill Veach said it would be helpful if the council had several ideas to choose from rather than just one.
Hernstadt responded: “In order to avoid a situation like….guess a number between 1 and 1,000…7…wrong, try again…is…if there’s something that you see that you like, or if you had a mental concept, it would help us that much sooner to get a final product. They (the designers) think their idea is a good idea. Whether you think that’s a good idea may not be the case.”
Clearly from the meeting yesterday, its not the case.