Uptown fire station will not be named after Hyland
Marysville City Council President Nevin Taylor declared a hot-button issue dead at the July 25 council meeting.
"We've got to quit kickin' the dog," said Taylor.
The "dog" in this case is what to name the rebuilt fire station in Uptown Marysville.
The city's new Municipal Services Complex includes the fire station -- to be called Station 272 -- and a new administration building.
The previous fire station on South Main Street had a plaque on it to honor Harold E. "Pappy" Hyland, a former fire chief who worked for the city for 34 years. Members of Hyland's family have lobbied to have the new fire station carry his name as well.
The issue also came up at council's July 22 public affairs committee meeting, where members voted 2-1 to not recommend the use of the Hyland name.
Committee Chairwoman Deborah Groat and member Henk Berbee voted to not recommend the name while J.R. Rausch voted for it.
The original Hyland plaque will be displayed at the new fire station.
City Administrator Terry Emery told the public affairs committee that one wall in the new building will display a Marysville Division of Fire banner, pictures of past fire chiefs and plaques that say, "The Hyland Fire Station" and one that tells visitors, "This facility stands on the former site of the Hyland Fire Station."
Former Councilwoman Barbara Timmons spoke to council July 25 about the decision made in 1976 to call the then-new addition the Hyland Fire station. She said then-Mayor Cliff Brown issued a proclamation "that it would be called Harold E. Hyland Fire Station to honor Chief Hyland."
However, Mayor John Gore said no such proclamation could be found.
"We did our research and there is not a proclamation on file," he said. "There is a proclamation thanking Pappy Hyland for his service to the city."
Bob Parrott, president of the Union County Historical Society, said his main concern was that the public did not get a chance to have its say in the matter.
"It's never been vetted in front of the whole council and the public has never had their opportunity to give their input," Parrott said.
Groat said the matter was discussed at the last public affairs meeting, which was open to the public.
Gore expressed frustration with the number of calls and emails he has received on the matter that have been personally offensive.
"I've gotten some pretty nasty emails," he said. "We've tried to do what we think is right."
The newest fire station on County Home Road was named the Decker Fire Station 271 in honor of Maj. Gen. Oscar Decker, a longtime Marysville resident and decorated U.S. Army officer who has performed a great deal of community service.
Because of all the arguing over the name of the Uptown fire station, Taylor said, Decker wants his name removed from the building.
"We have a general who now feels like he wants his name taken off a building because of disrespect to him," said Taylor. "This needs to stop tonight."
Emery said despite the controversy, there is nothing else that can be done and the city has done what it can to honor all of the former city officials who had plaques hanging at the old fire station.