City Council supports street renaming
Monday, 25 February 2013 by Matthew Girard
The Belton City Council voiced its support of the renaming of Alexander Street and a portion of Davis Street to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during Tuesday's regularly scheduled meeting at the Harris Community Center.
Because the City's renaming policy calls for all property owners along the proposed section of street to be renamed to be notified and given the opportunity to vote for or against the changing of the street name, the Council was asked to vote on the proposed change because the City owns seven properties along the streets.
For the change to proceed, 70 percent of the property owners (or 26 property owners in this case) must return a vote in favor.
Although Mayor Jim Covington was in favor of honoring King with a street name, he asked the Council to take into account any possible conflicts of interest.
"While I'm in favor calling it Martin Luther King Drive, I'm conflicted about the fact that the City owns seven properties and by voting our seven properties in favor, we could impose our will on 19 properties that didn't want it," Covington said. "I'm not sure that our ordinance took into play of the though that there might be a large number of any kind of government properties that could come under a re-naming request. I think it's proper for this council to have a discussion about how we want to handle the situation."
Despite the Mayor's reservations, Councilmember Craig Pearson expressed his support for the City to vote in favor of the change.
"The way we have to look at it is that we did our very best and we enlisted the aid of appropriate cross sections of the best minds in our City to craft the ordinance," Pearson said. "I think we did it pretty well and where it comes in that we are seven of the required 26, then the seven members here are voting for seven houses as if they were our houses. I think it's only appropriate that we consider it as our home.
"I can't find a better place in our City to honor Dr. Martin Luther King historically."
The Council then voted 7-0 to respond in favor of the name change.
In other business, the Council appointed Guy O'Banion to the Planning and Zoning Commission to replace Frank Minosky after he was appointed to the City Council. The Council also approved a resolution ordering the General Election to be held on May 11.
Belton Fire Department Chief Francisco Corona also presented a plaque of appreciation to Delbert and Norma Ashlock of Delbert's Wrecking for providing wrecked vehicles free of charge to the department for the training of firefighters in vehicle extrication.
Corona also presented letters of recognition to Lt. Wesley Gilbreath, firefighters Danny Rains, Adam Peiser, David Holloway, Jarod Vasser, Cpt. John Stowell and Assistant Chief Bruce Pritchard for their vehicle extrication training skills and quick actions to remove a patient from a SUV.