Cornwall reviews naming policy for parks and streets

Cornwall Coun. Claude McIntosh ponders during a city council meeting on Monday, Sept. 9, 2019. McIntosh has asked for a review of how the city names parks, streets and buildings after famous or notable people. McIntosh has been bothered that he hasn't been able to see something named after Bob Turner, the city's first black employee and recreation director. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – Cornwall will review its current policy of how it evaluates arbitrary public requests to rename parks, streets and buildings after prominent people.

The request came from Coun. Claude McIntosh after council agreed on Monday night with a recommendation from the Commemorative Naming Committee (a committee of council) not to rename Riverdale Park as Gerry Grant Park.

McIntosh is bothered by the current process, since he’s been trying for years to get something named after Bob Turner – the city’s first recreation director and first black employee. Nothing has Turner’s namesake since the Bob Turner Arena was torn down six years ago.

“I’ve been disappointed in the past the way we’ve handled it around this council table. Somebody shows up, makes a motion, second it and away we go. There should be a vetting process,” McIntosh said.

“Let’s take a look at reviewing this policy,” Mayor Bernadette Clement said, in also supporting McIntosh’s quest to name something after Turner.

City staff will review the current policy and bring a report to council for a future meeting on how it should handle requests, including rationale and evaluation criteria.

Meantime, another naming request is in the works. The commenting period closed at the end of August on an ask from the Downtown Business Improvement Area (DBIA) to name the parkette between the courthouse and Pitt Street, Denis Carr Lane.