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Brock tweaks proposed naming policy

DAN CEARNS, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, for The Standard

BROCK: The Township of Brock has finalized a naming policy for their municipal assets.

At a Committee of the Whole meeting, on Monday, February 14th, councillors saw a report from planner Debbie Vandenakker regarding the naming of streets, parks and facilities.

“Our current list of approved names is for street names only and [is] not sufficient to provide a variety of choices to the development community and Council for approval. Additionally, the names on the currently approved names list are all names of citizens [which] limits the ability of where those names could be used, to respect the namesake’s place of origin or contribution,” the report stated. “On January 10th, 2022, Council passed a resolution, directing staff to prepare a Street Naming policy for consideration and approval. This drafted policy began in a research phase for streets only. Through review of comparable municipal policies, staff feel it is efficient to create a broader naming and renaming municipal policy [which] can serve as the evaluation mechanism for all municipal assets.”

The policy states, these names will be “”vetted through the Durham Region Police Service, to ensure Regional safety for EMS service response” and they “should promote pride in the municipality, acknowledge local heritage, history, and recognize unique features and geography.”

It also states, priority will be given to names using “the area or street in which the property or building is located”, a dominant “ecological or natural resource feature” in the area, “a historical name related to Brock’s heritage and/or historical folklore”, “an event or person of international, national, or provincial significance” or an organization or individual who made “significant contributions to the community” or development.

However, members of council didn’t like the idea of requiring the usage of names of “elected or appointed public officials, staff or members of the public” to only be done posthumously.

“I’m just thinking, we should maybe get with the times a bit here,” Mayor John Grant said, citing that stamps and currency have been able to use, more and more, depictions or pictures of living individuals in recent years.

Ward 4 Councillor Cria Pettingill agreed with the mayor’s position on this issue.

“We shouldn’t forbid the use of a present name,” she said.

Ms. Vandenakker said, if council wished to remove the posthumous requirement, staff would have to add wordage into the policy, allowing them to notify a living person when their name is chosen.

Mayor Grant’s amendment was later approved by council.

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