The Town of Miami held a council meeting on Monday, Jan. 14, 2013. The agenda listed, under unfinished business, item G: Information, discussion and possible action: To approve removal of the two (2) flag poles, a tree and sign at the Miami Veterans Memorial Park.
It was reported on KQSS Gila 101.9 by Susan K (who was not present at the meeting) that I wanted to demolish the dedication monument at the Veterans Memorial Park. I addressed the council and public and said that I was seeking to remove the two flag poles at the Veterans Memorial Park for three reasons: 1. The Veterans Memorial Wall which he has been raising money to build a memorial wall that flag poles would be in the way. 2. The current flag poles are actually street lights, not flag poles. 3. The current flag poles are too close together and you cannot properly display the U.S. and State flags because they get tied up from the wind.
I requested permission from the Miami Town Council in March 2012 to approve the project. The town council gave me a 100-percent backing of the project as presented. I presented a rendering and stated that the dedication plaque and memorial would not be touched.
At the council meeting on Monday, Joe Lopez, who stated he was the commander of VFW Post 1441 in Miami, objected to the project to destroy the monument. Myself and other members of the council explained that the dedication plaque monument would not be touched. I only wanted to do what was stated on the agenda. Lopez still objected and stated that the man who built the park and the veterans of Miami are against changing the park. Mr. Gene Porto objected to the same things as Lopez, and I again explained that I was only requesting the items on the agenda. Councilman Black objected to the removal of the trees and flag poles. The council voted to table the agenda item until the next council meeting.
I contacted the District Commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, George Blum, who lives in Show Low and oversees the Globe and Miami VFW’s. He stated the VFW in Miami has not held meetings in years and that Joe Lopez was relieved of being Commander last year. Mr. Blum stated he supported the building of this veterans memorial wall.
If you would like information about the Miami Veterans Memorial Wall Project please call me at 928-719-6921 and you may view the rendering at the Miami Town Hall.