First Payne Park skate park apparently had a stolen package. Then it was misplaced at the Sarasota Police Department. And now, it apparently was all a confusing and mysterious lie. We think.
Skate Park manager Dan Giguere posted on the skate park's Facebook page a lengthy message that appears angry at some times and confusing at other times, but said he used the package to cover up the actual reason for why he had to close the park, which he won't share publicly.
"The package was an excuse to tell the 'public' for the park closure, but not the reason I closed the park. As some of you know, I am president of Sk8skool, Inc. We are the non-profit organization that runs the park," Giguere wrote. "I am personally responsible for everything and anything that happens at Payne Skatepark. After talking to several board members, I made the decision to close the doors until I could figure out the entire situation. I did not want to jump to conclusions and had to act carefully. Anyone that had ALL of the information regarding the issue understood the reasoning and supported me."
Giguere later maintained that the package was actually missing, though, and didn't know where the package went.
"We didn't know where the package was due to the UPS and police station dropping the ball," he wrote.
The Facebook post, which comes in at more than 1,000 words, continued to receive criticism from the Facebook community, with some asking why make up a story instead of just saying the park was closed for a private business matter.
He calls the situation private, and said if you don't like it in Sarasota, go to the skate park in Bradenton's Riverwalk.
"Comments made by some of our patrons make me realize we have way too many 'idiots' in this village and they can gladly travel 20 minutes north to Bradenton and act like such," Giguere wrote.
Giguere issued a mea culpa later on in the comments:
"You are absolutely right. I shouldn’t have used the package as my excuse to close the park. I did not intend to mislead anyone. I wasn’t thinking straight, only working on a few hours’ sleep as I was up all night worrying about the park. I personally knew the park would open in one or two days the entire time and didn’t realize everyone would think worst case scenario."
Though the organization is a non-private, the school is managing a public, city-owned property.
WWSB spoke to Deputy City Manager Marlon Brown about Giguere's approach:
“I think Dan needs to step back a little and take a breather.”
Brown says Giguere can't deny people access to city owned property.
City officials plan to talk with Giguere soon, hoping the two parties can move forward. Brown says the city has always had a good relationship with Giguere and his skate school. The contract with the school -- unless renewed -- ends next November."
Until then, hopefully the only grinding of gears at the skate park will take place on the bikes.