Dublin Villager

Council uncomfortable with dedication policy

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Proposed policy on the dedication of park facilities, amenities and other features made some council members squeamish.

Dublin City Council members last week got a first look at a proposal that would guide the dedication of items within city parks for individuals, groups or businesses.

The guidelines came from the staff at the request of council and would be "reserved for exceptional circumstances," the proposed policy said.

The policy would guide nominations, city staff recommendations and council decisions.

"Dedicating park facilities, amenities and features in the city of Dublin is often complex and emotionally evocative, since dedicating is a powerful and permanent identity for a public place," the proposed policy states. "The dedication of park facilities, amenities and features tell the important stories of Dublin's history."

Dedications would be made for "exceptional individuals" or historic events, places and persons, the policy said.

Council member Cathy Boring was wary.

"It puts me in the very uncomfortable position of deciding who would qualify for this," she said, suggesting something simpler like a legacy tree program.

The city already has a legacy tree program that lets people recognize a person or event with a tree and small plaque in city parks or open space, said Michelle Crandall, director of administrative services.

The proposed policy came about from a council request, Crandall said, and covers two broad categories of people to leave nominations open to council's discretion.

The policy also covers only the dedication of park features, rather than naming rights, Crandall said.

"It would be in dedication to or honor of," she said, noting that items to receive special designation could be anything from a gazebo or bench to a fountain or soccer field.

People honored could be soldiers, Olympic gold-medal winners or other persons significant to Dublin.

The cost of the dedication would be covered by the person requesting it, Crandall said, although the city could be making requests in some cases.

"It seems like we'd be pretty busy with this," Vice Mayor Amy Salay said.

Crandall, however, said dedications will be a process and some cases, could be funneled to the legacy tree program.

Marilee Chinnici-Zuercher also expressed concerns that after a dedication, problems could arise, such as the situation that occurred recently in the sports department at Penn State University.

"I'd like to give this some more thought," Michael Keenan agreed. "I agree with Cathy that this puts council in a box."

The policy was tabled until the Nov. 19 meeting.

City Manager Marsha Grigsby said staff will take council comments into account and possibly make changes to the proposed policy.

 

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