Family Tells City to Stop Using Public Park Against Ancestor's Wishes

Joe C. Stuart donated parkland to the city of Cleveland, Tennessee in 1979 under the stipulation that it be used as a place for quiet contemplation. The city has since built a bandstand and held concerts there, and Stuart's heirs aren't happy.

When do the deed requirements on donated public land expire? Apparently never, as the heirs of the man who donated the Johnston Memorial Park push back on the city to use the park only as he wished. The politics are playing out, writes reporter Randall Higgins:

"In January, the council approved a motion by Councilman George Poe that the downtown park be treated just like any other city park or that the city return the property to the family.

On Monday, family members approached the council with a counteroffer that would allow the Veterans Day ceremony and Evening Shade concerts to stay in the park and asking the city to schedule renovations to bring the park back into compliance with the original deed.

The council rejected the counteroffer."

Full Story: Cleveland, Johnston heirs at impasse on city park use


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