MILLEDGEVILLE — In recent discussions, county officials agreed to research and establish a uniform policy for the naming or renaming of buildings and properties owned by the county. Commissioners Henry Craig, District 4, and Emily Davis, District 1, were tasked with researching and developing a policy. Tuesday they relayed the local proposal to their fellow commissioners, and Davis suggested additional work is needed to strengthen.
“The county has no written policy, code or ordinance in place as to how things are named or renamed. We need to establish one standard for the community and county to follow as a normal procedure rather than having a different procedure every time the subject comes up,” Craig said after Tuesday’s commission meeting. “I have taken pieces and parts of a dozen different naming policies from cities and counties across the state and I developed a policy that fit our situation the best.”
During Tuesday’s meeting, Davis motioned for the policy to be tabled until January when “further research is done.”
“More research needs to be done on it before we make it official. We’ve had about a little over a month or so to work on it, but more research needs to be done on the naming and renaming of specific buildings,” Davis said. “We need more community input when we get ready to do these types of policies.”
According to the drafted policy, no building or property constructed, developed or acquired by the county will be assigned a name or renamed unless it falls within the policy and is approved by the commission.
The ordinance applies to buildings, parts of buildings, bridges, parks, gardens and any other property owned by Baldwin County. Naming or renaming streets, roads, alleys, paths or similar thoroughfares that already have an existing recorded name will also be governed by the new policy, if approved.
“The potential for conflict in the community is there and it would be easy to name something without much forethought that could embarrass somebody in the future,” Craig said. “This policy gives the opportunity or requirement for the person proposing a name or rename to follow instructions of the county and to do their homework necessary so as to make sure it’s based on the correct criteria and not embarrass the county in the future.”
The more recently approved property naming was for the Lucille Harris Community Garden and Soloman Harris Walking Trail at the Collins P. Lee Center in the Harrisburg neighborhood as requested by the Milledgeville Community Garden Association.
“Buildings and properties may also be named or renamed for persons who have made specific significant contributions to the well-being and betterment of Baldwin County,” states the policy.
Once the county approves the naming or renaming of a building or property under the new policy, the name will stay and will not be considered for at least 50 years after the naming unless there are extreme circumstances.
The board will bring the drafted policy back to the regular agenda during the Tuesday, Dec. 3 meeting.
“I was hoping that the policy would be approved. I was unaware there were any issues with it, and I would’ve liked to address those in the discussion,” Craig said. “[Davis] will address her differences in the policy and propose changes, and I will be in contact with her to see if I can participate in that process.”
The commission is slated to next convene Tuesday, Nov. 19 at 5:15 p.m. for a work session in the Baldwin County Courthouse, suite 319. The meeting will be followed by the regular meeting at 6 p.m.
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