Council adopts policy on memorials on public propertyThe Boy Scouts of America’s plan to erect a statue in Lakefront Park inched forward Monday night. The Hudson City Council adopted a policy that would allow the placement of statues like the one the Boy Scouts want to give to the city.
By: Randy Hanson, Hudson Star-Observer
The Boy Scouts of America’s plan to erect a statue in Lakefront Park inched forward Monday night.
The Hudson City Council adopted a policy that would allow the placement of statues like the one the Boy Scouts want to give to the city.
But the council delayed a decision on accepting the organization's gift of a 6-foot bronze statue of a Scout. Instead, it voted to send the issue back to the Park Board for its recommendation on whether the statue would meet the criteria for approval included in the new “Policy for Placing Memorials on Public Property.”
And Mayor Dean Knudson said a public hearing will be needed to determine if the Scout statue has “community support,” one of the requirements of the new policy.
The mayor shuffled the agenda of Monday night’s meeting so the council could take up the memorials policy that he and City Attorney Catherine Munkittrick drafted before considering placement of the Boy Scout statue.
Knudson said it would have been better to have a policy in place when the Boy Scouts first approached the city with their request last March. But until now, no one had asked to erect a statue, he said.
He indicated that it would be advisable to adopt a policy before giving final consideration to the Boy Scouts’ request.
The policy also would be needed to guide the city’s decision-making on any future offers of memorials, he said.
The policy requires that subjects of memorials be limited to “a person, group, organization or event that is significant to the city of Hudson community and is not currently memorialized.”
“Applications for memorials must be able to demonstrate community support,” the policy summary states. “The proposed memorial must be aesthetically complimentary to its proposed surroundings. Wording on memorials containing plaques must meet specific wording criteria approved by the City Council.”
The policy says memorials on public property must be significant to the Hudson community, and establishes the criteria for judging a memorial’s significance.
City officials are directed to consider the extent to which the memorial:
Alderperson Scot O’Malley offered an amendment to the policy that would have required that any statue be realistic in its portrayal of an actual Hudson citizen. The amendment would have allowed an exception for statues representing “founding groups of Hudson,” such as fur traders and lumbermen.
O’Malley’s amendment failed to receive a seconding vote from another alderperson and died.
The mayor’s policy proposal was adopted on a 5-1 vote, with O’Malley opposing it.
“This is your first chance to say no to this project,” Knudson said when the council moved on to consideration of the Boy Scouts’ request to place a statue in Lakefront Park. He added that the council would likely have other opportunities to approve or reject the statue.
He advised against giving final approval to the statue Monday night, and asked for a motion to send the issue back to the Park Board.
The Park Board (which met Tuesday night) should revisit the Boy Scouts’ request in light of the new policy on memorials on public property, Knudson said.
If the Park Board again recommends placement of the statue in Lakefront, a public hearing on the matter will be scheduled, the mayor indicated.
The council sent the Boy Scouts’ request back to the Park Board on a unanimous voice vote.
Steve Wilcox, Charles Huntley and Hugh Gwin were among the Boy Scout leaders in the audience.