JACKSONVILLE Fla. -- Nearly 80 people crammed into a tiny conference room at City Hall Tuesday afternoon questioning why some council members want to revamp Hemming Plaza by taking out the very pieces of it that make it a park.
Councilman Don Redman is proposing the passing of an ordinance that would remove benches, tables and chairs and restrict card games.
"The point of a park is that we can come out here and not have to be inside, we can come out here, sit socialize and talk" said Hemming Plaza frequenter, Amber Hall.
"I think it's a way of them exercising demographics just to control the masses, the people who come down here," said plaza visitor, John West.
Councilman Redman tells Action News his goal is to remedy the perception of the plaza.
"People get loud and they get vulgar and it scares people," he said. "It's the perception that keeps people from coming. There's less crime in downtown Jacksonville than anywhere else but the perception is there."
Those who spend time in Hemming Plaza say Redman's plans push people out, something the councilman didn't deny.
"We are trying to keep people from hanging out in masses all day long, yes" said Redman. "That's the problem and not that's there's anything wrong with them being there, it's just the way they act."
No official decisions were made Tuesday, but Redman says he and other members of city council are continuing to look for solutions. They plan on further surveying the park.