Controversy over naming lane by new police station
May 13, 2009
LITTLETON—A decision whether to name the lane by the new police station was postponed until next month after residents objected to the haste of the process.
The move came at the end of last Wednesday's regular Board of Selectmen (BOS) meeting, during which Selectman Edward Boynton made a motion the road be named Kittridge Lane, after the family who owned the land donated a parcel on which to build the police station, which is nearing completion on a lot off West Main Street near the fire station.
"They gave us the property and three easements, I think it's proper to honor the Kittridge family," Boynton said.
When Boynton made his motion he noted that a petition came in with 27 signatures suggesting a name for the new station. After residents pressed him as to the suggested names, he noted three former police officers—two chiefs and a deputy chief were suggested. The three officers are Chief Van H. Gardner, Chief Stanley McIntyre and Deputy Chief William Cere. All three are deceased.
"I know I opened a can of worms last year suggesting naming the road by the fire station after my dad," Boynton said. "My recommendation is still naming it Kittridge Lane."
Boynton said he was not making the suggestion to be derogatory to the police, he just thought the Kittridge contribution should be honored and spoke to family members last week to see what they thought.
Alison Bolt turned to Police Chief Paul Smith and asked what the police think about naming the road.
"It's not our position to dictate how the town names its roads," Smith said. He said the department was just grateful to get a police station.
Selectman Ron Bolt seemed unhappy by the speed of the proposal and said he hadn't seen the petition before the meeting.
"I'm not ready to make a decision, I strongly suggest we table this," Bolt said. "Meeting prep time is very important to me."
Moore said that wouldn't be possible, that a 911 address had to be assigned to the building. The idea to name a road there was not new, he said, the name had been suggested last year when the road next to the fire station was dubbed Boynton Lane.
Town Manager Chuck Connell said the board had time to consider the issue as there is another regularly scheduled meeting next month and the decision on a 911 address doesn't have to be made until June 30.
"It will give more people the time to consider the matter," Connell said.
Bolt said that in the meantime the Fire Department knows how to find the Police Department. The new police station and the fire station are on the same parcel.
Resident Bob O'Connor said there should be a policy in place how roads are named rather than a random process.
The proposal was tabled until next month after Moore withdrew his second of Boynton's motion. It will be reconsidered during the regularly scheduled BOS meeting June 3.