Veterans Memorial at Sea Wall turned down; task force will study options
The Clear Lake City Council, on a 3-2 vote Monday night, agreed with a recommendation from its Parks and Recreation Advisory Board not to allow a proposed veteran’s memorial to be placed at the Sea Wall.
The vote followed almost one and one-half hours of public comment, along with statements by Mayor Nelson Crabb and each Council representative.
Council members Jim Boehnke and Dana Brant voted against accepting the Parks and Recreation Board recommendation. They each said they would like to keep the Sea Wall location as a possibility, but consider other locations, as well.
All five Council members voted in favor of establishing a task force which will consider locations and design for a veterans memorial. Councilman Tony Nelson suggested the task force be comprised of veterans, business persons, community members at-large and representatives from the Parks Board and City Council.
“This has been an emotional time-- not just for you, but for those of us sitting up here, as well,” said Mayor Nelson Crabb before opening discussion of the proposed memorial.
Nearly all of the 23 persons offering their opinion about the issue noted the strong feelings tied to not only the creation of a veterans memorial, but to the lakefront.
“This memorial needs to be front and center at the Sea Wall,” V.F.W. Post 4868 Commander Mike Nelson told the Council.
“It’s emotional for us, we feel strongly about it for the past, present and future,” added Dave Parks, chairman of the Memorial Committee.
Mike Finnegan called the Sea Wall location the best and most deserving spot for a memorial and announced more than 1,000 persons signed a petition asking the Council to approve the request. He said the names were collected in just over one week and provided a “true testament to how important the memorial is to the citizens of Clear Lake.” The petitions provided an opportunity to discuss the proposed memorial with the public and “clear up misinformation on its size and scope.” The memorial would not hinder access or view of the lake, he added.
Finnegan asked for a show of hands from the audience and about 85 percent of the 80-plus persons in attendance showed their support for the Sea Wall location.
“I don’t think it’s that much to ask, for this little space,” said local businessman John Berhow. “I think it’s a perfect spot.”
However, others said they believe a veterans memorial should be located in a more serene spot.
“This spot does not give veterans the respect they deserve,” said Joshua Schultz. “It’s too busy and takes away from visitor access to the lake.”
Julie and Alan Angle agreed, saying the busy spot is often inaccessible. “I think it should be a serene area to contemplate,” said Julie.
Donna Dull asked if those planning the memorial had allowed for more space to be needed in the future. She opposed the Sea Wall location, noting more room for expansion will likely be needed.
“It’s prominent, but is it appropriate?” Anne Unsworth asked. The Sea Wall was designed for recreation, rather than respect, she said.
Mark Tesar objected to the proposed site, calling the Sea Wall the community’s “front yard” and added the memorial would be better suited to a “back or side yard” location.
“We are not discussing the relevance of a memorial, but where. Let’s take the - Read More Via e-Edition