Utica park's name causes debate

UTICA, Mich. (WXYZ) – There’s a battle brewing in Utica over the identify of a park.  

Metropolis Council members voted to call the park The Jacqueline Okay. Noonan Riverwalk Park final yr, however now that a veterans memorial has been moved there some need it renamed the Veterans Memorial Park. 

The park is situated off Davis Drive and Auburn Street.  It’s by trails alongside the Clinton River for biking and mountaineering. 

The chairman of the Downtown Improvement Authority on the time of the council vote to call the park after the previous mayor was Joseph Mayernik, the proprietor of Shamrock Irish Pub.  He spoke to council members earlier than the vote, suggesting they honor Noonan. 

“She has been a mayor for 28 years, served the group for over 30. She is the rationale this downtown exists,” stated Mayernik. 

Over the summer time there was a rededication for the veterans memorial after it was moved to the park. The memorial lists the names of those that graduated from Utica Excessive and have been killed in motion. 

“It turns into a memorial park,” stated Phil Randazzo, a veteran.  “For those who don’t need it to turn out to be a memorial park maintain the KIAs and the memorial off of it.”

Randazzo requested that the park be renamed Veterans Memorial Park.  The adorned veteran fought heroically in Vietnam. His platoon was almost worn out. He says when he appears on the memorial it’s private.

“I see the battles that they fought,” stated Randazzo. 

Randazzo says it’s disrespectful to place any civilian’s identify over the park the place the memorial is.  He additionally says it shouldn’t be used for recreation.  It ought to be handled as hallowed floor. 

Others like Mayernick need to honor veterans, however nonetheless use a park named after a very long time public servant for group occasions and recreation. 

“It’s about respecting everybody, not solely veterans, but in addition Noonan who has served this state and group honorable. It doesn’t need to be a contradiction,” stated Mayernik. 

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