Controversy surrounds the naming of the Grand St. Bridge

Construction of the Grand Street Bridge

The naming of the Grand Street Bridge after beloved Potter County Commissioner Manny Perez is raising eyebrows and debate among commissioners, the city and its people.

Monday Potter County Commissioners took up the issue.

In a three to two vote, Potter County Commissioners approved a resolution of naming the Grand Street Bridge after long time serving Commissioner Manny Perez. An idea that came about to honor the man who commissioners say was instrumental in getting the bridge built for residents tired of waiting on passing trains. Perez even campaigned for years to get Potter County to spend $500.000 on the project.

Before Monday's vote, the community voiced either their distaste or support for the naming of the bridge.

"I don't think it should be named after just one person," said Debra McCartt, Former Amarillo Mayor.

"That bridge was his passion, it's the passion of the East Amarillo. It may not be for Southwest Amarillo, but that bridge means everything to East Amarillo and to naming it after Manny Perez," said Jay Kirkman, In Support of Resolution.

"Manny was our champion he was non-political he cared only for his people and he was not a stranger in the community," said Sue Casey, Northeast Resident.

The item will now head to City Hall. That's because the bridge is city property, so City Commissioners must note and approve that naming of that bridge. It's that very reason that many opposed Monday's vote on the resolution.

"I don't think this commission has any authority or any business passing this resolution that isn't on property that we have nothing to do with. I would against naming the bridge at this time we have several properties that are in Potter County that we own that I would be more than happy to talk about naming after Manny," said H.R. Kelly, Potter County Commissioner.

City Manager Jarrett Atkinson says it will now be up to Amarillo's Commission to decide if they want to even take up the issue by placing it on the agenda.