BOONE — A local park will get a new name after Boone Mayor Rennie Brantz was surprised with a vote to name North Street Park after him at the end of a nearly four hour Sept. 16 town council meeting.
At the end of the meeting, Boone Town Manager John Ward asked the council to amend the agenda to include the naming of a park, which came as somewhat of a surprise to council members and the mayor.
Council member Sam Furgiuele quickly seconded the motion to amend the agenda, which was approved by the council. Ward then asked if the council would make a motion to rename North Street Park to Mayor Brantz Park, which is within walking distance of Brantz’ house.
Council member Connie Ulmer made the motion, which was seconded by Furgiuele — who Ward said had the idea to name the park after the mayor.
“We’ve had a lot of discussions these last few years about recognizing people who have served this community and Mayor Brantz has served the community for a long time,” Furgiuele said. “We should take the opportunities that we have to recognize the people that have made huge contributions and we all know how much time it takes to serve on council and Mayor Brantz has been on the council and been mayor for many years and has volunteered and donated so much time. It’s incredible.”
Ward jokingly said he hoped Brantz could forgive him because he promised he would never surprise him.
“I’m overwhelmed,” Brantz told the council. “Thank you so much. I’ve just been honored to participate and be part of this community.”
The council unanimously passed the motion to name the park in the Brantz’ honor. Ward said the sign would be ordered and a dedication ceremony would be planned for the upcoming weeks. The park currently has a playground equipment and a community garden. Ward said there are plans to add a community gathering pavilion at the park as well.
Brantz has been a public servant in Boone for 18 years. Even though he is retiring at the end of his term, Brantz previously told the Watauga Democrat he still wants to be involved in the community as he hopes to get a position on the Historic Preservation Commission.