Midway City Council considers changing Brickyard Road to Barack Obama Boulevard

The Midway City Council held its monthly meeting on Thursday, June 1 at City Hall.

The first item on the agenda was approval of a proclamation to celebrate Small Cities Month this June.

Small Cities Month is a celebration of the contributions from cities with populations under 50,000 encouraged by the National League of Cities.

City Manager Dr. Henry Grant proposed making the official proclamation, and a motion was made by Councilmember Charles Williams for approval.

The council voted unanimously to approve the proclamation to celebrate Small Business Month.

Next, the Council considered a resolution submitted by Councilmember Charles Willis to rename Brickyard Road to Barack Obama Boulevard.

Mayor Ella Parker Dickey spoke first on the matter, having met with some of her constituents who live on Brickyard Road.

“They said the road has had that name for over 30 to 40 years,” said Mayor Dickey. “And to change that name now, they would have to go through a lot of stuff they don’t want to go through. So they said at this time that they request it not to be changed. So that is what I’m hearing from my constituents now.”

Councilmember NanDrycka King Albert also spoke on the issue.

“I spoke with the United States Postal Service, and in this process there is definitely a lot to be considered in terms of changing the name.”

Councilmember Willis asked City Attorney Anthony Thomas about the procedure for the name change, and Thomas replied that the matter would need to go before the Gadsden County Board of Commissioners since Brickyard is a county maintained road.

Councilmember Albert asked Councilmember Willis the reason for the proposed name change.

“You have Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and Brickyard Road in conjunction to that,” explained Willis. “So with Obama Boulevard connected it’s more relevant, just like Quincy is doing. They have Martin Luther King Boulevard and Obama Boulevard in conjunction.”

Willis then suggested that city staff contact residents for their input, and table the resolution for the time being, and made a motion to that effect.

The Council voted unanimously to table the discussion until city staff questioned the residents on Brickyard Road.

Finally, City Attorney Thomas presented a brief lecture on “shade meetings,” which are an exception to Florida’s Sunshine Law, which provides for public access to governmental proceedings at the state and local level. 

In some cases, the Town Council might have a need to meet with the Town Attorney about certain mediation strategies during litigation, and these shade meetings would be protected by attorney-client privilege as long as the litigation lasts.

To comply with the Sunshine Law, a shade meeting must be announced at a public council meeting, and they must be recorded by a certified court reporter.

Stephen Klein – Gadsden County News Service


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