Panel Begins Scrub of City Place Names for ‘Racist’ Connections - GV Wire - Explore. Explain. Expose
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Panel Begins Scrub of City Place Names for ‘Racist’ Connections



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The Fresno Historic Preservation Commission meeting takes on new significance tonight as it meets tonight virtually.

The commission will discuss its new task — evaluating names of city facilities and provide a recommendation on those names after a controversial historical or cultural figure.

The city council approved the resolution on Oct. 15 in the wake of the George Floyd death and a reexamination of monuments and named facilities across the country.

More Than 70 Facilities on Review List

The city has provided a list of more than 70 parks and community centers for the commission to look at. Not all are named after people.

The most controversial name appears to be the Meux Home Museum, named after a Confederate Army doctor who later moved to Fresno.

According to tonight’s agenda, the commission will “discuss and develop the appropriate procedure” on how to handle the list.

Street names were not included, although Councilman Garry Bredefeld said they could be considered city facilities. Staff for Councilwoman Esmeralda Soria, the author of the motion, said evaluating street names were not the intent.

But, ultimately will be up to the HPC to explore as to whether streets should be part of their recommendations.

Report Due in 60 Days

Per the city council resolution, a report from HPC is due in 60 days.

The meeting starts tonight at 6 p.m. on Zoom. The link to the agenda, with Zoom information can be found here.

Who is on the Commission?

The commission is made of seven mayoral appointees, confirmed by the city council for four-year terms. At least five must be registered voters in Fresno, with at least two being a professional in such areas such as architecture, history and planning.

Patrick Boyd, vice president of designlab 252 — a landscape architectural firm — is the chairman, currently in his third term on the HPC.

Other commissioners include:

Jason Hatwig, engineer with civil engineering firm CEI

Paul Halajian, principal architect of Paul Halajian Architects

C. Kristina Roper, anthropology professor at Fresno State

— Don Simmons, sociology professor at Fresno State

— Christopher Rocha, executive assistant at Bitwise Industries

There is one vacancy on the commission, formerly held by architect Robin Goldbeck. Rocha was approved by the city council last week. This would be Rocha’s first meeting.

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email