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Panel Begins Scrub of City Place Names for ‘Racist’ Connections



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The Fresno Historic Preservation Commission meeting takes on new significance tonight as it meets tonight virtually.

The commission will discuss its new task — evaluating names of city facilities and provide a recommendation on those names after a controversial historical or cultural figure.

The city council approved the resolution on Oct. 15 in the wake of the George Floyd death and a reexamination of monuments and named facilities across the country.

More Than 70 Facilities on Review List

The city has provided a list of more than 70 parks and community centers for the commission to look at. Not all are named after people.

The most controversial name appears to be the Meux Home Museum, named after a Confederate Army doctor who later moved to Fresno.

According to tonight’s agenda, the commission will “discuss and develop the appropriate procedure” on how to handle the list.

Street names were not included, although Councilman Garry Bredefeld said they could be considered city facilities. Staff for Councilwoman Esmeralda Soria, the author of the motion, said evaluating street names were not the intent.

But, ultimately will be up to the HPC to explore as to whether streets should be part of their recommendations.

Report Due in 60 Days

Per the city council resolution, a report from HPC is due in 60 days.

The meeting starts tonight at 6 p.m. on Zoom. The link to the agenda, with Zoom information can be found here.

Who is on the Commission?

The commission is made of seven mayoral appointees, confirmed by the city council for four-year terms. At least five must be registered voters in Fresno, with at least two being a professional in such areas such as architecture, history and planning.

Patrick Boyd, vice president of designlab 252 — a landscape architectural firm — is the chairman, currently in his third term on the HPC.

Other commissioners include:

Jason Hatwig, engineer with civil engineering firm CEI

Paul Halajian, principal architect of Paul Halajian Architects

C. Kristina Roper, anthropology professor at Fresno State

— Don Simmons, sociology professor at Fresno State

— Christopher Rocha, executive assistant at Bitwise Industries

There is one vacancy on the commission, formerly held by architect Robin Goldbeck. Rocha was approved by the city council last week. This would be Rocha’s first meeting.

David Taub has spent most of his career in journalism behind the scenes working as a TV assignment editor and radio producer. For more than a decade, he has worked in the Fresno market with such stops at KSEE-24, KMJ and Power Talk 96.7. Taub also worked the production and support side of some of TV sports biggest events including the Super Bowl, the NBA Finals and NASCAR to name a few. Taub graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email