Reclaiming Peacock Park
Over the past few years, every time I contacted Commissioner Sarnoff's office to ask about the park, I was basically told to shut up and mind my own business. I was told that is was ok for St. Stephen's to lock up the playing fields and basically own them. I was told that it was ok that there was no park attendant and that even though our tax dollars were paying for this park, it was ok that it was a private park now. I was always made out to be wrong or mistaken in my thinking, even though many residents contacted me to ask me about it. I don't know of one person who thinks that selling off the park to the school is a good idea. This locked gate is what most citizens are faced with on a daily basis.
I think the time has come to reclaim the park and everything else that is wrong around here because of greedy, selfish, calculated policies of the past. The sell out of the park is explained in this Miami Herald article from 2012.
This item below came in anonymously, so unfortunately, I can't give credit to the person who wrote it:
A CALL TO ACTION
The locked, gated soccer field in the public Peacock Park is the result of a deal that Marc Sarnoff orchestrated between Saint Stephen's and the City of Miami.
There is a group called the "Friends of Peacock Park" that acts as stewards of the park. The group is led by David Villano and Glen Terry. David Villano is also a Saint Stephen's parent, Board Member and a soccer coach.
The Friends of Peacock Park were very pro-active in moving the popular Coconut Grove Roller Hockey Team (the Tasmanian Devils), a youth hockey team comprised of many African-American boys from the West Grove, out of the exact same area of the park and over to another, less desirable park further away.
When the same section of Peacock Park was then occupied by a very popular skateboard park (free and always accessible to the public) the Friends of Peacock park rallied to shut it down.
That is when the Saint Stephen's Board of Director's Pastor Willie Allen Faiella, and Marc Sarnoff teamed up to orchestrate an illegal deal to take over the very same section of the public park for the sole use of Saint Stephen's Episcopal Day School as a private, gated and locked soccer field.
Saint Stephen's renovated the area to suit their specific needs and the area of public park remains gated and locked at all times.
Developer Jorge Perez, whose son attends Saint Stephen's and plays soccer on the now private soccer field in the public park, helped fund the renovations and is the schools biggest donor.
This is 100% illegal, however Saint Stephen's will continue to get away with this crime until they are challenged in a court of law.
There are several precedents for a case such as this, like this one in NYC that was easily won in court by a group of committed neighbors.
Whom amongst us will organize our group of committed neighbors and take back our public park?
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