The city of Geneva will look into making a permanent memorial to one of its favorite sons, Merritt King, who died in January of this year.
And at the same time, city officials are examining ways to use city of Geneva rights of way to place memorials to other favorite sons and daughters.
In the other business portion of Monday's City Council Committee of the Whole meeting, Geneva resident Colin Campbell suggested extending the sidewalk in front of the Geneva History Center and building a small pedestal for a plaque in King's memory.
King was a longtime Geneva aldeman, war hero and "historian emeritus" of the History Center. You can read more about him in this column by Kurt Wehrmeister and in this death notice and this story.
"What I would like to do is to ask you as a City Council to consider this," Campbell said. "I would be more than happy to work with the city staff and more than happy to run a fundraising drive to purchase and place the memorial."
Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns said the suggestion was timely, because "there is a plan in place to allow for such signing, or tribute, throughout the downtown. Details are being put in place right now."
Burns said he hoped that rights of way throughout the community might be used for such tributes. The City Council would have to approve any and all such plaque requests, because it would require the use of the public rights of way.
Plaques might be similar to the historical markers on some city sidewalks.
"The intent here is not to create Disneyland," Burns said. "But to open it up, to identify rights of way throughout the community that could be used for plaques to honor someone."
Burns said he would talk with City Administrator Mary McKittrick and e-mail aldermen and Campbell with a plan on how to move forward.
- Geneva's Legendary Merritt King Dies at 93
- Visitation for Merritt King Will Be Friday at Malone Funeral Home
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