A group of citizens spoke up at the Orange County Commission on Tuesday, urging commissioners to stop the demolition of Orlando's historic baseball venue, Tinker Field, but they may not be in the right place with their concerns.
People like Katherine Buchannon used the county's allotted time for addressing public concerns to blast the City of Orlando for announcing they would tear down the old field as part of the reconstruction of the Florida Citrus Bowl.
"All I'm asking is, please don't erase our field of dreams, and don't erase our heart," she said.
Mick Dolan told commissioners that they should try to find other options.
"We can preserve it. There's ways we can do this," he said. "We need to talk about it, and gather ideas. The little league aspect is a great thing, a smaller field, just make it a museum if you have to. Save it."
Orange County is using tourist taxes to fund the reconstruction of the Citrus Bowl, but tearing down Tinker Field is not listed in any of their funding agreements with Orlando, so they do not feel like they are paying for the demolition of Tinker Field. Commissioner Tiffany Moore Russell seemed to relay the consensus of the commission when she told the speakers the county could not force Orlando to act.
"That's a separate jurisdiction. That's like somebody telling us how to maintain the Convention Center."
Commissioner Pete Clarke wants Tinker Field saved, as do many of the other commissioners, but for now, all Mayor Teresa Jacobs can do is go meet with Orlando officials and ask nicely.
"We don't have any jurisdiction. I have told Mayor Dyer, and I have told the commissioners we stand ready to help in any way possible to preserve this property, and I suspect that means some contribution of funding."
On Monday, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer announced that the stands at Tinker Field would not come down just yet. They are trying to get more public input and a more comprehensive plan.
So far, the city has not taken any type of formal vote on the demolition of Tinker Field. It was simply presented to council during a workshop on Citrus Bowl construction. It is unclear whether or not they will even be required to vote on the matter.