Commissioner Tobia of District 3 which includes Melbourne Beach says he has received complaints from his constituents over the flags being flown at Ponce de Leon Park. He says that specific complaints are targeted towards the flying of the Puerto Rican flag and the Spanish flag, and also contests the historical claim of Ponce de Leon actually landing at that location over 500 years ago.
He stated in an interview that Ponce de Leon probably spent as much time at that location as Santa Clause, referencing a study conducted by the University of Central Florida (UCF) in contrast to the findings of the State of Florida which designates the park as a historic site.
13 public speakers spoke during public comments both for and against the proposal. The 8 speakers in favor of keeping the flags as they are focused their comments around the history and culture of the hispanic communities and their representation. They also spoke on the support and approval of the project by prior County Commissions who funded the project.
One resident went as far to say that the County should embrace and promote the park much like St. Augustine does with their historic sites.