'Daily NewsMakers with Jeff Lytle' Corey Cabral, preservationist; David Tetzlaff, zoo director; Steve Carnell, Collier public services administrator; Lavern Gaynor, philanthropist/historian

On the eve of an important Collier County Commission decision, a panel previews what will happen Tuesday with the landmark lily pond and original gardens. Plus, Naples’ first lady of history comments on enlargement of the Norris Center at Cambier Park.

All of that is on this week’s “Naples Daily NewsMakers with Jeff Lytle’’ program this morning at 10 on ABC7.

Guests are Corey Cabral, zoo-gardens preservationist; David Tetzlaff, zoo director; Steve Carnell, Collier County public services administrator; and Lavern Gaynor, philanthropist-historian.

Video highlights are at naplesnews.com/newsmakers.

Here are excerpts:


NewsMakers: Lavern Gaynor

Future of the Norris Center?

Lavern Gaynor

Lytle: Let’s talk about the Norris Center. There’s a plan before Naples City Council to perhaps expand the Norris Center greatly to accomodate more sophisticated and large-scale theatrical productions. Your family helped the Norris Center years ago become what it is today and we’re eager to hear what your opinions on that are.

Gaynor: There is a word that is often forgotten about the Norris Center — it’s the Norris Community Center, and the original building was given to the city by my parents. It was to be used for everyone, and it was to be a community center. At that time the main room was an all-purpose room that everybody could have ... you could have a dance, or you could have yoga lessons, and anything you want is in there.

The problem with changing it, I think it becomes more for one purpose.


NewsMakers: Pond Debate, Part 1

What will happen with lily pond?

NewsMakers: Pond Debate, Part 2

What will happen with lily pond?

The Naples Zoo

Lytle: Monitoring the impacts of zoo expansion on the original botanical or Caribbean Gardens should be the county’s job, right?

Carnell: Well, yes in the sense that the county is required to review and approve improvements to the property.

Lytle: But some say that you haven’t been watchdogging this closely enough.

Carnell: Well, that’s a matter of debate. I have to tell you, I have three months of history on this myself personally in terms of direct engagement.

But David has brought in the past requests to my predecessor’s attention in terms of improvements that he wished to make to the property ...

What should be clear here, Jeff, is there’s never been a discussion of a master plan, and there’s never been ...

Lytle: ... At what level?

Unknown ... At the county level in terms of the county being asked ...

Lytle ... master plan ...

Carnell: Well, what I’m saying to you is the county has never been asked to approve a master plan. Nor does the lease agreement necessarily require it. The lease agreement talks about discrete capital projects or improvements at the time that the zoo was ready to move forward with them; that’s how I read the lease.

Tetzlaff: Anyone who is truly familiar with master plans, and I’ve seen not only the one that we’ve gone over, but for other zoos, museums, aquariums — I’ve seem them all. A master plan is not a construction document. It is simply a vision; a dream.

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