Former mayor Fred Costello was honored by the city of Ormond Beach with a dedication ceremony on Friday, May 31, officially unveiling a plaque naming the amphitheater at Rockefeller Gardens after him.
Mayor Bill Partington said Rockefeller Gardens was Costello's "baby" as he spearheaded its improvement efforts in the early 2000s. Like John D. Rockefeller, Costello is a "visionary," Partington said.
"[Costello] saw it through, he got the funding for it and as a result, for years now, thousands and thousands of Ormond Beach residents have enjoyed visiting this park in a way that has brought so much joy to so many individuals and families," Partington said.
Volusia County Council Chair Ed Kelley also echoed a similar sentiment, saying that the city owes much gratitude to Costello for what it is today. Partington had earlier credited the Andy Romano Beachfront Park and the concept for Ormond Crossings to Costello.
“A visionary is not a dreamer," Kelley said. "A visionary is one who can envision something that’s going to happen, but [Costello] carries it a step further. He executes.”
Costello said he was overwhelmed with gratitude, and spoke about the need for giving back in the community. Ormond Beach has many of those, he said, and that's "what makes the city special."
“Mayor was the best job of the world because you could see the fruits of your labors," Costello said.