Committee To Adopt Parks Naming Policy

BERLIN- Just two weeks after the idea was proposed, Berlin officials have officially formed a committee to develop a public property naming policy for the town.

On Monday, the council agreed to Mayor Gee Williams’ suggestions for membership of the eight-member committee to be called the Berlin Naming Parks and Public Spaces Committee.

“I think it’s a very good concept,” Williams said. “The most important thing is they’ll be as fair as possible in coming up with policy.”

The council approved the formation of a naming policy committee January 9 after resident Bill Todd presented a petition signed by people who supported the renaming of Berlin Falls Park. Todd told the council he objected to Williams’ statements regarding the need for naming opportunities to be tied to financial gifts. He said he wanted the community to have a voice in the selection of names for public places.

In light of the interest from residents, Councilman Zack Tyndall put forth the idea of a committee to develop an overall policy for the town to follow in naming public properties.

During Monday’s regular council meeting, Williams recommended an eight-member committee that would be made up of six voting members and two administrative members. He suggested Tyndall and Councilman Dean Burrell serve on the committee as voting members along with Todd, Berlin Parks Commission Chairman Mike Wiley, Berlin Historic District Commission Chairperson Carol Rose and Berlin Arts and Entertainment District Chairperson Heather Layton. He recommended Berlin Town Administrator Laura Allen and Dave Gaskill, the town’s attorney, as the committee’s two administrative members.

“This will allow the town administrator to eb the coordinator and start communication,” Willliams said.

Williams added that in the unlikely event of a tie among the six voting members Allen could be the tiebreaker.

The council voted unanimously to approve formation of the committee. Williams said he didn’t want its members to feel pressured to get the policy completed but stressed that town leaders would eagerly await their recommendations for a naming policy.

“Whenever you folks feel confident we’ll get you on the agenda,” he said. “That way the entire council gets to review it.”

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.