The Indio City Council last week agreed to follow an amended city policy when it comes to dedications, after initially tabling the discussion on whether to name a park, facility or street after Martin Luther King Jr.

City Manager Bryan Montgomery brought the discussion back at the March 6 meeting along with a copy of the city’s current policy, adopted by resolution, that the council previously requested.

“Looking back on it, it doesn’t appear that some of the tasks within the resolution were complete,” he said. “For example, it was charged to the Arts Commission to come up with a list of names of historic figures which you could select and name a park or facility or street after. No one believes that that has been complete.”

And though he said it would be likely that Martin Luther King’s name would be included in any such list come up with by the commission, he said there was also an option in the initial resolution for the council or a member of the public to propose a name, which would then go to either the Planning Commission or the Community Services Commission for review.

“It’s not specific, but it appears that the Community Services Commission would be involved if it were a park,” Montgomery said.

He said that staff felt like a facility would be an easier lift, with the new library, currently named after former Congressman Al McCandless, being one option. Other options included the current city council chambers, which after the new city hall is built might become a community meeting room, or the upcoming sports complex.

“I just opened that up seeking direction on any further research you’d like or direction,” Montgomery said.

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Councilmember Waymond Fermon, who initially requested the item for discussion, said that he was fine with following the city’s current policy, an opinion shared by the rest of the council.

“I would recommend that we try to follow the policy. I think that’s the best thing,” Fermon said. “We don’t want to set a precedent of going around policy.”

And while the council decided against moving forward with naming a park, facility or street in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. — in favor of trying to follow the previously adopted policy — the discussion brought the city’s maintenance of its already existing memorials, including one for Doug York.

“I’d like to look for another location or some kind of memorial that we could do for Doug York,” Fermon said. “I think it’s important that we also keep that legacy alive as well for the preservation of the history of our city.”

Along with asking the Community Services Commission to come up with a list of names for potential future naming efforts, which also requires an update to the city’s policy, the council also asked that city staff prepare a list of places that have already been named or dedicated.

“We can ask that of them and get that on their agenda,” Montgomery said. “In the meantime, concurrent to that effort, make a quick revision of this resolution to bring back to you.”

A full recording of the meeting can be found here on the city’s YouTube channel.

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