Last month, the Memo reported on a Gateway and Beech Parks renaming effort by Portland Parks & Recreation rife with process confusion, secrecy and delay (“Parks process poor on public involvement” MCM January 2015).
PP&R Media Relations Officer Mark Ross said via email on this month’s press deadline, the week of January 25th, that “We will not have an update today, though we hope to this week, when we expect to issue a press release.” When pressed for an answer to the question of whether a decision already has been made by PP&R’s Director Mike Abbaté and/or City of Portland Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz but the announcement has been delayed—and if so why—Ross declined to respond by press deadline.
A recent email from Argay Terrace Neighborhood Association (ATNA) Chair Doug Cook to Abbaté refers to an earlier email on which Cook was copied “stating … that [Abbaté] and Ms. Fritz had moved on a name based on a consensus from the Naming Committee” and concluding that the Loowit View Park decision is now final.
The Memo has previously reported that, according to PP&R’s own Naming Committee Chair Hun Taing, no consensus on a new name for Beech Park was reached, and a final decision between two non-consensus alternatives—Luuwit View Park and Garre Farm Park—should be made by Abbaté and Fritz.
Why Abbaté, according to Cook, now states that the Naming Committee arrived at a “consensus” recommendation in favor of Loowit View Park is a mystery, unless the original Naming Committee secretly reconvened and issued a new consensus recommendation, in violation of PP&R’s own prescribed parks naming procedure, which they didn’t.
Thus continues the corrupted PP&R Beech and Gateway Parks renaming process that now seems to include outright misrepresentation.
Furthermore, in December, around Christmas, Abbaté called Cook offering to rename the current Argay Park Argay Terrace Park, the name Cook wanted added for consideration for Beech.
Cook demurred, saying he had no authority to make such a decision on behalf of not only the board but also ATNA members.
At their January meeting, the ATNA board voted to request the entire naming process—at least for Beech—be restarted and to hold off on renaming until the entire neighborhood is informed of the process, not just a few individuals.
To contact Ross, email him at email@example.com or call him at 503-823-5300.
Editor’s note: Just before press time, PP&R confirmed the process is over and that new names for both parks were chosen: Luuwit View for Beech Park and Gateway Discovery for the park formerly known as Gateway Park and Urban Plaza.