Howell City Park To Be Renamed "City Of Howell Scofield Park"
February 1, 2019
The Howell City Park will be renamed to honor a family’s influential contributions and many years of supporting the community.
The Scofield Park Dedication Committee requested the name change with a goal to recognize Bill, Joy and Rick Scofield’s influence and commitment to the city. The family’s members have each held a number of leadership roles and have given back in various ways to the community that the Scofield family has been a part of for over 70 years. Bill Scofield, who passed away last year at age 89, was on the Howell Recreation Commission for 17 years as well as being a founding member and chairperson of the Livingston County Community Foundation. He was also a member and chairperson of the Howell Area Chamber of Commerce. His wife of 67 years, Joy, was also a Howell Opera House Foundation member while Rick is the president of the Howell Area Chamber of Commerce and Howell Education Foundation member.
The Dedication Committee’s request came before Howell City Council Thursday. Mayor Nick Proctor told committee members he hadn’t heard any residents object to renaming a park in the family’s honor, but had been asked whether the committee would consider choosing a smaller park for the tribute. Committee member Paul Rogers says while Howell City Park is the "main park", he feels it shows the community how the city feel about the commitments residents are making and have been making for years. He says the family's commitment began when the first Scofield moved to the area in 1935.
Council discussed the request and many members appeared to be on board with changing the name. But Councilwoman Jan Lobur said she’s had a lot of thought and conversations with community members about the request before expressing her reason for being opposed to the idea. She stated that she meant no disrespect and that she admires the Scofield’s, but feels there are many people that have been influential and supportive of the community. Referencing those who have served in the military, in law enforcement or as first responders she asked, "How can we put one family before another in conferring an honor like this?"
However Councilman Randy Greene says he learned a lot about the Scofield's from committee members, meticulously reviewed the application process for requesting the honorary change and feels the requirements have been met. Council then voted on a motion to designate the park in honor of the Scofield family. That motion passed with Lobur as the only vote in opposition.
The park sign will stay the same colors but will instead read, “City of Howell Scofield Park”. Councilmembers chose the name out of a few different options with plans to continue to work with the committee on finalizing some minor design details. It was previously reported that if approved, a dedication ceremony with the new sign would either be held prior to Memorial Day weekend or the holiday weekend itself. (DK/JK)