BY JAMES HARPER
“Street gossip” will not stop the process of the renaming the athletic fields at Derbyshire Park after educator and coach Harold V. Lucas from going before the Daytona Beach City Commission, says the city’s leisure services director.
Defamatory statements were allegedly made about Lucas during a city commission meeting last month, which has prompted a number of calls to Mayor Derrick Henry.
“Most of the people who have called me – it has not been about his (Lucas) character. A lot of people are concerned about how things are named in the city,” Henry said.
All of the Daytona Beach commissioners have agreed with Henry that the renaming process needs revision.
Vote scheduled Feb. 6
Currently, all an applicant interested in having a city property renamed has to do is get 50 signatures, put together information about the nominee, and get approval from the city’s Planning Board before the item goes before the city commission for a final decision.
Leisure Services Director Percy Williamson said the city does background checks on those whose name have been nominated for a city facility or street. He added that there is the public record about Lucas that stops the city from moving forward. A city commission vote is scheduled Feb. 6.
“What the street committee says is one thing; public record is another,” Williamson said.
D’lorah Hyacinth, daughter of Lucas got the ball rolling to have Derbyshire’s athletic fields named after her father.
She pleaded her case in December before the planning board about the renaming.
“I am happy to see the city has recommended going forward with renaming the field.
(My father has) contributed to betterment of city, state of Florida and U.S. I submitted an application of over 60 pages. He has touched the lives of hundreds, thousands of lives people who have gone out in the city, state, around the country and are making differences where they are,” Hyacinth said in an interview before his nomination became controversial.
The renaming was expected to go through with little fanfare considering unanimous support from the Planning Board after many in the community spoke up in support of the item.
Young’s wife upset
Madeline Young, the wife of the late Zone 5 City Commissioner Rufus “Buddy” Young, was the only person speaking against the renaming.
Young is upset that promises were not kept to rename something after her husband.
The athletic fields to be renamed after Lucas are located in the zone Young represented for 14 years as a city commissioner.
In a letter Young sent to the Daytona Times she said, “How soon we forget the pioneers who have served this city well. He (Buddy Young) was a dedicated man, high standards, complete integrity and boundless enthusiasm for whatever task he took in hand.
“Many years of work that he put in the city of Daytona Beach was his pride and joy. He was the commissioner for the surrounding area of Derbyshire Street for fourteen yeas which includes the athletic fields of the park. Who can claim more merit than Buddy Young.”
The city commission will vote on the renaming of the athletic fields during its regular scheduled meeting which starts at 6 p.m. on Feb. 6