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Brandon is once again disregarded


Published July 4, 2003

Re: Galvin-Jaudon house

Commissioners, again we in the Brandon area notice that we are the red-headed stepchild in your eyes. The Galvin-Jaudon house should have 100 percent backing from your staff and it appears that, as usual, only Pat Frank is in tune to the public's feelings.

Commissioner Scott, I cannot help considering the fact that if this were a historic site concerning the African-Americans you would be fighting until the final board was removed from that site. You showed your lack of concern in stopping Frank's efforts to bring it before the commission. I have always admired your efforts to help the downtrodden however, this situation seems to be beyond your concern.

I find that very sad! We will probably lose this fight, but each time I drive by that house it makes me feel bad. A church is suppose to, as a tax-free society, work with the community in all areas. This site will furnish about eight parking spots and each time I drive by I will have a negative feeling about the church. This is not the feeling a church is suppose to generate.

Commissioners, I am at this point ashamed to be living in Hillsborough County because I know that if this were in a different location you would fight to stop the black top from going in. Shame on all of you. Brandon needs its own commission and representation from people who care for our area.


-- B.C. Gibbons, Brandon

Historic preservation goal can still be realized

Re: 113-year-old house isn't landmark, board rules


-- I appreciate your attention to the historic Galvin-Jaudon house in Brandon. As a founding member of the Hillsborough County Historical Resources Review Board, but writing here as an individual, I must note that your writers of the text and of the June 23 headline were a bit more colorful than the facts of the story.

The HRRB did not rule that the "113-year-old house isn't a landmark." I'd guess, that as soon as the building's new owner asks, the HRRB would recommend landmark status. On advice of counsel, the board reaffirmed that the First Baptist Church of Brandon has private property rights.

Meanwhile, as for the past year, the HRRB has encouraged all parties to save this historic building by negotiating with the church. The church wants the property, not the building. The newly created Brandon Historical Association wants the building, preferably on its original site. That site now belongs to the church.

Other private parties and businesses, too, are keen on saving the building. At least two of those parties have told the HRRB they want to landmark the building as soon as it reaches their property. Speaking for myself, not the board, I'd guess that the community goal of historic preservation still can be reached.

Certainly the church has been patient and responsive, waiting a good six months beyond the date originally set for a decision. The Brandon Historical Association has articulate and energetic advocates. Together, the church and the association should be able to honor the stewardship that historic preservation and a vital community require.

Our lawyer advises that past official actions mean that HRRB has its hands legally tied in this matter. The concerned parties must first agree, and then the HRRB can help. The professional staff members of the board have been concerned, dedicated, and responsive. I can only conclude that when good will prevails in Brandon, local history will be well served.


-- A.McA. Miller, Ruskin

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