New park in Manatee County to be named after Gov. Ron DeSantis

Governor Ron DeSantis has made quite a name for himself. In Manatee County, his will now be the official name of the 17 acres previously known as Kinnan Park, but the naming decision wasn't unanimous.

County commissioners had to vote on whether to put DeSantis’ name on the land. They all agreed they liked the governor, but some questioned the motives behind the naming.

"I feel this is very embarrassing to our community," said Commissioner MIsty Servia during Tuesday's regularly scheduled meeting.

Commissioner Carol Whitmore agreed, saying, "I was embarrassed that we would name this little teeny park with a cell tower on it after the governor."

It was the third and final discussion between commissioners about making the unofficial park, official. 

The land just north of Tallevast Road will reopen next year. When it does, it will be named Governor Ron DeSantis Park.

"I do support naming the park the Governor Ron DeSantis Park because I think, in the last couple of years, he has truly earned that right in Manatee County," said Commissioner Vanessa Baugh.

Some residents did not support the name and neither did commissioner Servia, whose idea was to host a park naming contest. Three hundred names were submitted by community members, with the most for Governor Ron DeSantis Park.

Commissioner Servia felt the outcome was a ploy by her political opponent, who beat her during the primary.

"When the process was hijacked, all of a sudden it became a popularity contest," she said.

Every commissioner said they like the governor and support him. But commissioners Servia, Whitmore and Bellamy voted against the name. Commissioners Satcher, Kruse, Van Ostenbridge and Baugh voted in favor.

"Shame on us. We are taking away the business, away from the county and making ourselves again look like fools statewide," said Whitmore.

Kruse countered, "We make ourselves look bad because we keep re-hashing things for no reason."

When it opens next year, Governor Ron DeSantis Park will have a dog park, pickle ball courts and a fitness trail.