razzleccentric: (Gravestones)
razzleccentric ([personal profile] razzleccentric) wrote2010-03-20 08:42 am

Saving Heritage Village

So, there's a rumor on the internets that Pinellas County commissioners are planning to slash the budget for Heritage Village and shut it down. They will be "locking the gates when the money runs out!"

Now I know how reliable internet rumors are, and the woman who made the Facebook site doesn't offer any proof of this vile plan other than a link to an article about an antique car club being unable to hold their annual show at the Village this year due to "recent county manpower and budget constraints."

[livejournal.com profile] telaryn kindly provided more concrete evidence:

Okay - the County is in the process of eliminating all the paid positions because of budget issues. There is lip service at this point that they are willing to maintain it entirely through volunteers because shutting down a museum (which is what HV is, after all) would be a logistical and PR nightmare.

So in addition to community support, what the museum really needs at this point is people willing to commit to helping to run the place, either through massive donations or their physical presence.

I can neither provide a massive donation or my physical presence, but if anyone in the Tampa Bay area reading this can spread the word to people who could help, please do so. It would be nice if as much hellfire and damnation could be stirred up about this as was stirred up about the Biltmore Hotel, but I suspect that will be rather unlikely given that Heritage Village is a) not in Belleair and b) less spectacular in a showy way.

Heritage Village is a "building preserve." Many historical structures from around Pinellas County were moved to that site to prevent their destruction. From the Coachman cabin to the Lowe House, these were the homes of early Florida pioneers and residents. Considering how the vast majority of Florida history has been run over roughshod by "developers", Heritage Village deserves far better than being budget-slashed into oblivion.

If anyone knows of any way to help... please do.

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