After voting last month to rename Dozier Circle "Venetian Gardens Boulevard," commissioners said they'd support re-renaming it to keep "Dozier" in the street name.

LEESBURG — The Leesburg City Commission will reconsider the recent renaming of Dozier Circle.

Last month, commissioners voted unanimously to change the name of the street to Venetian Gardens Boulevard as part of a rebranding campaign amid the city park’s renovation.

After the vote, a Daily Commercial story on the renaming circulated on social media. Comments poured in accusing the commission of not knowing the history of Leesburg — the Doziers were a founding family. A few locals, some Doziers, called for a protest at the Monday commission meeting.

But after hearing from the public Monday evening, the commission expressed its support to re-rename the road, keeping “Dozier” in it.

“I’m happy,” said Mike Dozier. “I think it’s a good outcome, more from a historical standpoint.”

Sometime between 1868 and 1870, Matthew Dozier married Lizzie Lee, the daughter of Evander Lee, who Leesburg was named after. Matthew served as the mayor of Leesburg. Among their three children was Laurence E. Dozier, who was also a mayor of the Lakefront City. He served for nine terms. Laurence died in office at the age of 44, but was integral in connecting the community's lakes with canals.

Mike, a longtime local resident, was among five Doziers who attended the meeting. He spoke during public comment.

"Aside from any name association," he told the commission, "I think just the fact that L.E. Dozier was mayor here and was one of the first five founding families here, he had a big influence, he was a part of Leesburg. I think we should leave the name Dozier Circle or Dozier Court, as long as there's a Dozier in there."

Though they know they aren’t direct descendants of Laurence Dozier, Mike Dozier's family is working on their family tree to see if they’re related somehow.

Tom Grizzard, the commodore at the Leesburg Boat Club located at 31 Dozier Circle, also spoke. Out of respect for the Dozier family, Grizzard asked the commission to consider renaming it "Dozier Court," as the roadway is no longer a circle.

When the commission made the decision last month, it had minimal information about the historical significance of the Dozier family.

Using information he received from local historians, City Manager Al Minner reported at the July meeting that Laurence Dozier was a many-term mayor of Leesburg, and was integral in planting oak trees along what’s now Dixie Avenue. Before it was Dixie, it was Dozier Avenue.

Minner then suggested installing a plaque near a prominent oak tree with information about Laurence and his contributions to Leesburg.

The name “Venetian Gardens Boulevard” was suggested by the Leesburg Partnership, which has worked with the city to rebrand Venetian Gardens.

The reaction to the name change was mostly negative. Some accused the commission of attempting to erase the city’s history.

But prior to the July 22 meeting, Minner’s office reached out to the Leesburg Heritage Society, specifically Sanna Henderson and Glorianne Fahs, and received the information about the family.

“It’s fair to say there were maybe some communication errors,” Minner said at the meeting Monday. “And when members were asked there wasn’t an immediate ‘don’t do that, it’s horrible.’ If we got that reaction, that would have been reported.”

Henderson apologized if she contributed to any miscommunication between Minner’s office and the historical society. And Fahs urged the commission to give them more lead time on historical research in the future.

Both said they were happy that the commission was receptive to changing the street back to Dozier.

All four of the commissioners present — Jay Hurley, Mike Pederson, Elise Dennison and Mayor John Christian — said they were happy to change the street name. That will require the commission adopting a resolution at a later meeting.

Hurley encouraged the crowd to air their grievances with the commission in the future, instead of on social media.

“I think we’re all honored to keeping the Dozier name and ... I have no problem taking it back, I don’t think any of us do,” Hurley said. “But if you would, pass on tonight when you get on Facebook, this is the way to do it. This is the way to get it done.”

After the meeting, commissioners, as well as Minner, introduced themselves to the Dozier family and thanked them for attending the meeting.

Alli Dozier, who also attended the meeting, said her family was "thankful and elated" with the outcome.

"I was super pleased that the city manager and the commissioners recognized the historical value," she said. "We also want to thank the Leesburg Heritage Society, namely Glorianne and Sanna, as well as Tom Grizzard and the many of the members of the Facebook family for the support and encouragement."

Mike Dozier said he’d still like to see a plaque in the park, though. That way people can learn about the Dozier family’s significance in Leesburg and the work of Mayor Laurence Dozier.

“That way, the street name in addition to the historical background," he said. "Somewhere down the road, he won't be forgotten."