BERLIN – Citizens in support of renaming Berlin Falls Park in honor of a popular mailman are expected to bring the issue to the town council next week.
Last month, Berlin resident Bill Todd launched an informal petition effort to rename the park after recently retired Berlin mailman James Tingle. Now that petitions have been posted in downtown businesses for several weeks, Todd says he’s ready to share the signatures with town leaders and see if the effort can move forward.
“People are very interested,” Todd said.
Todd came up with the concept of renaming the town’s newest public space James Tingle Park as he was looking for a way to honor the mailman for the 30 years he spent walking the streets of Berlin delivering mail. The overwhelming positive response he received when he brought up the idea on a radio show prompted him to go forward with it. He says nearly all of the downtown businesses provided space for the petitions.
Berlin Mayor Gee Williams, however, said when contacted by The Dispatch last month that it would be “folly” to name the park after Tingle, who he said he admires, when there were numerous citizens in Berlin who contributed to the community. He said he expected naming opportunities to arise over time and pointed out those opportunities were usually tied to financial donations.
“So, if anyone has a six-figure financial gift ready to give the town for the purpose of a naming opportunity to honor James Tingle, or any number of other honorable current or past citizens of Berlin, then by all means contact me, because then and only then, will we have something to talk about,” Williams said.