Herb Gram: Placing Restrictions On Park Naming Process Is Wrong

Madison resident Herb Gram, in a letter to the Boy Scout who is helping the Board of Selectmen with the renaming of Constitution Park, suggests restrictions placed on the process are wrong.

On Thursday,  Jan. 9 at 7 p.m. Boy Scout Nate Rogers will host a town meeting at Memorial Town Hall to discuss the renaming of Madison's newest park. As part of an Eagle Scout project supported by the Madison Board of Selectmen, Rogers is offering town residents the opportunity to suggest names for the new park, which will then be forwarded to the selectmen for a final decision. Anyone from Madison is invited to hear about the project and fill out a suggestion form. Residents also can send an email to constitutionparkrename@gmail.com

Madison resident Herb Gram says that restrictions placed by the Board of Selectmen on Rogers' project are wrong. He says he specifically is concerned that only the town's school children and their parents were actively solicited for suggestions. Gram also takes issue with specific restrictions put on the naming process. Gram sent this letter to Rogers, and asked to have the letter republished in Madison Patch. 

Mr. Nate Rogers

Madison Ct.  06443



Dear Nate,

By now you have received many letters suggestions for renaming Constitution Park, the old airport area.  Many I’m sure have supported the name be changed to: “The Robert Schumann Park”.  These letters and other documents have additionally contained much supportive information and justifications for honoring Mr. Schumann which I whole heartedly support and have little to add, other than strongly seconding such an action. 

My problem as an old “Life” Boy Scout, the father of two Eagle scouts, a past Cub Pack leader and a past Scout Leader, is more with the restrictions apparently placed on you as to the persons being allowed the opportunity of contributing to the naming as well as the limitation regarding the actual naming.  You mention having received some 500 forms from High School students and an additional 100 plus from other schools.  Therefore it appears as though the naming contributors have been limited to only school age children, and/or their parents.  To the best of my knowledge, no questionnaires have been available through the Library, Senior Center, on line , through the Town Web Site, nor the like, therefore no other opportunity for adult participation.  This effort cannot be considered a Town wide opportunity to name one of the largest park areas in our town.  I, personally have not seen the questionnaire, and am therefore limited in knowledge about any other limitations.

Of even greater concern is the restriction that were placed upon you, by not allowing you to consider using the names Griswold nor Hammonasset in the park name and further that the selection should not be named after "any living or recently deceased person". ... . If your effort is to be considered as a “significant” civic contribution, then placing any such restrictions is wrong.  I would find it hard to believe the regional Scouting Board would be in favor of restricting the participation in a civic service project to a specific age group. Finally Nate, as a local High School Student, you must be aware of the historic naming of some of our major landmarks.  By way of example:  The Bauer Park – obviously named after the Bauer Family. The Strong Field – again named after the Strong family, The Ryerson School, the Daniel Hand High School, the Wm. Polson School, Lowery Park, the Scranton Library, etc.  All these and many others are clear examples of our citizens honoring those that have given much to our town of Madison.

Nate, I would like to suggest that you sit with your Scoutmaster and your adviser, and discuss this matter, as your decision to abide by the limitations placed upon you, will have far reaching effect on the BSA.  Good luck with your project.

Best regards,

Herb Gram

Madison, CT

Jay D January 08, 2014 at 08:28 PM
We can all stand up and yell at the entire project, from buying it to naming it..but you know what? MCPHERSON DOES NOT CARE!! He has his own agenda and does not care what the residents think. He does NOT work for us! Bit lets buy his BS and keep re-electing him everyear!
Cathy Marsh January 09, 2014 at 07:33 AM
I am confused! I thought that anyone could email Nate with their suggestion? We adults are able to sent in our ideas also -right? Good luck Nate!
Laura G. January 09, 2014 at 10:38 AM
I like Herb have not seen any questionnaire. I do not have children in the high school so perhaps that is why. We should aim for wide spread dissemination.


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