Tom Petty Hometown Mayor Planning Memorial ... Little Help, Gainesville!

10/9/2017 12:40 AM PDT

Tom Petty's Hometown Prepping Memorial, Unique Ideas Wanted!

EXCLUSIVE

Tom Petty will be honored in his birthplace ... just as soon as the Mayor and citizens of Gainesville come up with a unique enough concept to honor the rock legend.

Mayor Lauren Poe -- who went to the same high school as Tom -- tells TMZ he's putting together a proposal to honor their hometown hero, but says no street sign or symbolic "Tom Petty Day'' will do.

Poe says if the city approves a Petty memorial, in theory, his next move will be fielding innovative and interactive suggestions from the public. He's looking for something recurring and interactive -- like an annual gathering for fans that would double as a memorial.

Hizzoner will get plenty of pitches -- we're told local musicians have been covering Petty tunes nonstop since his death Monday, and tribute bands are already reaching out to the Mayor.