Huntington Beach

Council sticks with existing park names

WARDLOW PARK in Huntington Beach will keep its name (City of HB photo).

WARDLOW PARK in Huntington Beach will keep its name (City of HB photo).

By Jim Tortolano

Don’t let anyone tell you that appreciation of local history is a lost cause. Exhibit A was on display at Monday’s meeting of the Huntington Beach City Council.

Nearly two dozen people spoke during the oral communications segment of the meeting, arguing for or against recommendations on the naming of city parks. After more than an hour of testimony ­– heavily sprinkled with bits of local lore – the council voted 7-0 to reject two of three recommendations from the city’s Community Services Commission.

HB color logo letters3The original proposal from the panel was to keep the present name of Arevalos Park, but change Wardlow Park to Frank L. Ciarelli Park, and to name a newly-developed – but unnamed – park at the former Lamb School site as Delbert A. “Bud” Higgins Park.

Each recommendation had its advocates or opponents, but the council ultimately sided with Mary Urashima, who argued that the existing park names represented “a century of history.” Councilman William O’Connell said that the council “should not name one park after a pioneer [replacing] another.”

Councilman Mike Posey moved that Arevalos and Wardlow parks retain their names, and that consideration of a name for the Lamb school site park go back to the commission, with the possibility of naming it after Delbert and Elizabeth Higgins.

Those who advocated for honors for Ciarelli might not be disappointed long. As Councilman Dave Sullivan remarked, “There are a whole lot of parks in the city” which can be renamed to honor civic heroes and pioneers. Huntington Beach has 75 parks totaling almost 754 acres.



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