Although Mayor Santiago “Jimbo” Martinez and Councilman David Carabajal were in favor of the idea, Mayor Pro Tem Mike Scotten and Councilwoman Libby Spires objected.
The naming of the new football fields at Veterans Memorial Park and the skate park area at Flournoy Park were the two main items on Tuesday’s special meeting, other than holding a workshop to discuss the budget for the coming fiscal year.
City Manager Deborah Ballí said the city intended to have plaques installed at both the skate park area and the football fields, and it would be a good opportunity to name the facilities.
She said the plaques would also bear the names of current council members.
Carabajal said he would like to see the skate park named after Fulghum. He said the former mayor pro tem was one of those who had the original idea to build a skate park here.
Carabajal also cited the fact that Fulghum has more than 20 years of service on the City Council and should be honored for that achievement.
Scotten said he thought the city should do some due diligence before renaming anything at Flournoy Park, because that would be like changing the name of property that had been donated to the city by a certain individual.
Carabajal assured the other council members that he had no intention of renaming the entire park. He was only interested in naming the skating facility after Fulghum.
“No disrespect to John,” Scotten said. He then suggested that it is more appropriate to name a facility after someone as a memorial.
Carabajal made the motion to name the skate park after Fulghum, and Martinez seconded it, allowing the motion to be subject to a vote. Fulghum was unable to attend Tuesday’s meeting, so it was impossible to break the tie that resulted.
“I’m sorry,” Scotten said after the vote was taken. “I think we would need to do something like that in memory of someone.”
Spires agreed, and the council instructed Ballí to see that the plaque designate the facilities as “Flournoy Park.”
When the matter of naming the one-and-half football complex at Veterans Park, Carabajal suggested those facilities be named after Fulghum.
“Again,” Scotten said, “that’s a memorial park.”
Scotten then reminded Carabajal that there are a number of baseball and softball facilities at VMP which already are named after individuals.
Interim Assistant City Manager John Valls then suggested naming the facilities the Veterans Memorial Park Sports Complex.
Scotten made a motion to that effect, and Spires seconded that.
All four council members voted in favor of that motion.
Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.