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Don’t ask for help unless you mean it

Let’s see if we have this straight: The Grass Valley City Council spent more than 20 minutes July 13 coming up with a plan asking citizens to suggest names for two frontage roads downtown. Following a formal nomination process, 34 different names were offered up, with “Wolf Creek” getting the most mentions, followed by “Lola Montez.” In an online poll on http://www.TheUnion.com, Lola was the choice of about half of the 480 votes cast.

This week, council members took about 30 seconds to bang the gavel of approval for “Hansen Way” and “Tinloy Street.”

Huh?



Those names received only one nomination each.

OK, admittedly the council sent clear signals early on that the final decision would be theirs and they wanted to name the roads for some prominent families. (Hansen and Tinloy are names with long local histories). And the final choice was made by Mayor Patti Ingram, Downtown Association Director Howard Levine and chamber President Mary Ann Mueller, who are used to having things their own way.




But please – don’t yank citizens around with some phony contest if you’re not going to give their preferences at least cursory consideration.

The overly hasty vote of approval Tuesday, along with Ingram’s plea that there will be plenty of future opportunities to use the name “Wolf Creek,” are indications the council realizes their offers of public input were woefully transparent.

That’s not to denigrate the worthiness of the names selected. Considering the shabby treatment given the Chinese before they were driven out of the gold-mining towns more than 100 years ago, it’s about time a street was named for a actual person rather than just “China Street.”

We assume Councilman Gerard Tassone was trying to make a joke when he suggested “Wong Way.” His other idea: “Elm Street,” so we can refer to future traffic jams as “The Nightmare on Elm Street.”


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