CORONA — When Ken Redlin retires, the city may well miss the 30-year veteran parks and recreation director. But it will not name a park after him.
The City Council voted 3 to 2 Wednesday to uphold its policy of naming parks primarily for the streets on which they border, despite a unanimous recommendation of the city Parks and Recreation Commission to name a proposed park for Redlin.
"Ken's a great guy," Councilman Richard Deininger Jr. said, "but we could open up a whole can of worms. Everyone would want to name a park after someone."
Councilmen William Miller and R. Gary Miller joined Deininger in the majority.
Corona's standard procedure has long been to "name parks for the street on which they are located," City Manager James D. Wheaton said. "That is a policy that was generated around 1972 or 1973."
Only two city parks are named after people: Huested Park at Merrill and 11th streets was named for a local World War I veteran; Contreras Park at Railroad Street and Buena Vista Avenue was named for a Vietnam War veteran.
Another park--Cresta Verde Park--is named for its neighborhood, and the city's first park, on East 6th Street, is simply called City Park.
The Parks and Recreation Commission recommended that a park proposed for the corner of Lincoln Avenue and River Road in northern Corona be named Ken Redlin Park.
And about 30 Parks and Recreation employees signed a petition supporting the name change, Wheaton said.
"I don't think it's a bad idea. I don't like to wait for people to pass away and then name things for them," said Mayor S. R. (Al) Lopez. Redlin "has dedicated his life to the parks," he said.
Redlin retired from full-time duty at the end of February but will continue to head the department part time until a successor takes over, probably in early summer, Wheaton said.
"Ken Redlin has devoted both his personal and professional life to the betterment of our city parks and our city recreation activities," wrote Jay Dunn, commission chairman, in his recommendation to the City Council.