The city of Bexley has adopted a new policy for naming and renaming its parks, recreation facilities and programs.
The new naming conventions were drafted by a group of Bexley board and commission members, including members of the Recreation Board, the Tree and Public Gardens Commission and the Bexley Community Foundation, said Jim Wilson, a member of the group.
“I think the most important thing about the policy is that it keeps the ultimate control over decisions as to naming in the hands of the (City) Council,” said Wilson, who serves on the Tree and Public Gardens Commission. “Any recommendations that come through the process will come to (council).”
Council voted 7-0 on Nov. 15 to adopt legislation that is intended to “create a policy to provide for predictable, consensus-derived naming decisions,” according to the ordinance.
It establishes a Naming Advisory Board that will consist of the mayor, the president of council, the director of the Recreation and Parks Department, the chair of the Tree and Public Gardens Commission, the chair of the Bexley Recreation Board, the chair of the Bexley Historical Society and the chair of the Bexley Community Foundation.
The Naming Advisory Board will review names of existing parks, recreation facilities and programs and recommend names for new facilities and programs. Those recommendations will be sent to the Recreation Board and the Tree and Public Gardens Commission, which will provide opportunities for public comment at their meetings.
The Recreation Board and the Tree and Public Gardens Commission will each maintain authority over naming recommendations for the facilities in their jurisdictions and can vote to forward the Naming Advisory Board’s recommendations on to City Council for final approval.
“What we think is good about the policy is it provides for orderly input with both the broad representation of this ad hoc committee that will be created … to serve as an initial filter as to whether a particular project will be something we want to assign a particular name to,” Wilson said.
The ordinance streamlines the process for naming and renaming facilities and programs by eliminating the need for each suggestion to go through the legislative process, Wilson said.
“We think this process is important … because we have relatively infrequent opportunities for naming in the city, so we think it needs to be done with some care, Wilson said.”
The ordinance provides an exception to the naming policy for minor features, such as park benches, Wilson said.
“That allows each of those boards and commissions to have their own policy about naming park benches or naming trees that are donated to the city – things that are sort of routine things that we wouldn’t want to come to council,” he said.
The ordinance also enables the city to maintain naming and renaming rights for facilities managed or licensed by the city but that fall within the jurisdiction of Capital University or the city of Columbus, Bexley Mayor Ben Kessler said.
“We named Pump House Park (at 2703 E. Main St.) It’s in the city of Columbus. It would fall under this policy,” Kessler said of the park at 2703 E. Main St.