JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville took time on Thursday to honor the legacy of former mayor Tommy Hazouri, Sr.
The city renamed Mandarin Park in his honor.
Hazouri died two years ago but he lives on in the hearts of many and now his name lives on at an important park.
The park renaming ceremony was an event that brought politicians and friends from all sides together to remember Hazouri. His cousin, Jacksonville Mayor-Elect Donna Deegan who is now following in his footsteps, said she remembers the one thing Hazouri said about his role in Jacksonville
“‘I may never be remembered for doing the big shiny things in Jacksonville, but I hope I will always be remembered for doing the things that make the big shiny things possible,’” Deegan said. “I think Tommy was always telling me he was always comfortable in his own skin. He always felt it was incredibly important to reach across the aisle, he always brought everybody in. And his love for Jacksonville was evident. And if I can just have, you know, a fraction of that during my time as mayor, I’ll be very grateful.”
Tommy’s wife Carol said renaming the park in Mandarin means so much to her, her family and now the community.
“I think they’ll always remember him for the tolls or for the garbage, or the smell. And you know, I don’t know, you don’t hear people talk about it very much. But he was day one, wanting a football team. And he won’t believe the things they did to get a team here. And so he was really happy with that,” Carol Hazouri said.
Councilwoman Brenda Priestly Jackson said Hazouri was known for making people laugh and having a good time.
And that’s something that’s going to continue because people will be coming to the park, they will see Tommy’s name on the sign and they’ll laugh they’ll have a good time. And that’s what he wanted people to do.