LOWELL — A new committee will oversee the naming and dedication of public spaces in Lowell.
In a 8-0 vote, the City Council Tuesday approved an ordinance creating the Monument Committee, an up-to-11-person committee tasked with establishing a standard policy for the renaming and dedication process. The board will also make naming recommendations to the Board of Parks, according to the ordinance.
City Councilor Edward Kennedy was absent and did not vote.
"We'll move forward with trying to put people on the committee and get started," City Manager Eileen Donoghue said.
The decision comes after the proposal to change the name of Roberto Clemente Park to Pailin Park stirred controversy among city councilors and drove residents to a packed Board of Parks meeting in March. Currently this issue is before the Board of Parks, which tabled the question during the March meeting to allow the involved communities to further discuss the renaming.
During a hearing on the proposed ordinance Tuesday night, no one, including city councilors, spoke.
Last week, the ordinance was discussed by the City Council Rules Subcommittee, which requested tweaks to the ordinance before voting.
Members of the new Monument Committee are appointed by the city manager and must be Lowell residents, though this restriction can be lifted in the event of a long vacancy.
The committee will include two members with design and landscape backgrounds, two members of the arts community, one member with historic preservation knowledge, one member with an urban planning background, one member with a legal background, one veteran member and one representative chosen from a neighborhood group. Additionally the group needs two alternate members of any of the listed backgrounds.
Donoghue said when the committee launches depends on how soon her office is able to find members meeting the specifications laid out in the ordinance.
The policies developed by the committee should include an application process, criteria for naming or dedication, design guidelines, insurance and maintenance requirements and fees, according to the ordinance.