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Memorializing Richard A. Taiclet, the former Streetsboro police chief and community volunteer struggling with ALS, has proven tricky.
City Council considered renaming Superior Avenue for Taiclet and renaming the police station for him, but decided to continue the discussion after consensus couldn't be reached.
"I think it's an absolute travesty," said Mayor Glenn Broska of remaning the street and police station. "Within a month, if you name that station for Mr. Taiclet, it will be forgotten. Naming a street which is of virtually no importance to the city after him, I believe is just a slap in the face."
Broska said he wants to rename City Park after the volunteer who spend many Streetsboro Family Days festivals at the park providing security with a friendly face.
Current Police Chief Darin Powers said he thought naming a street after his predecessor would be appropriate, but agrees with Broska.
"When I first came to the mayor with this it was originally to rename a street," he said. "He suggested City Park, and I thought that was a great tribute because that's something people will see for years and years to come."
Councilman John Ruediger said he would like to rename the police station after Taiclet, who served on the force from 1974-2010, including the last six years as chief.
"I've known the Taiclets probably my entire life," he added.
Powers and Broska both said they think people will continuously refer to the station as the "police station" if the city incorporates Taiclet's name into the building's moniker.
After much debate and comments from residents, Julie Field requested council keep the matter in committee until Councilman Tim Claypoole and Council President Steve Michniak, who were not able to make the meeting, could offer their input.
There are practical problems with trying to rename the police station after Taiclet, said Broska.
"All there would be is a plaque in the hallway," he said. "I guarantee when people come into town, they're going to ask where the 'police station' is."
He also said Google Maps would not necessarily realize something called "Taiclet Station," for example, could actually the police station.
Councilwoman Bridget Pavlick said she agrees that the police station will be difficult to rename.
"It's always going to be the 'police station' just like Progressive Field is always going to be 'Jacobs Field,'" she said. "I think we just need to breathe a little here."
Conversely, Broska said every visitor who comes to town could potentially be seeking "Taiclet Park." That would include numerous softball teams, 3 v 3 Live soccer players, adult softball teams and more.
"I believe the proper venue is the park," he concluded.
Tressie Gardner of Streetsboro said she would like to see both the park and police station named after Taiclet.
Chuck Kocisko, founder of Streetsboro Family Days, said Taiclet volunteered many hours in the park, but he's worried the name could be lost if associated with the park.
"There are three or four areas in the park that already have someone's name," he said. "Personally, I'd like to see a street named after him."
Council will discuss the issue again at its June 26 meeting, which will start at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 9184 S.R. 43.
FB: Bob Gaetjens
The entire idea of memorializing Richard Taiclet is laudable. As a longtime member of the community and as a city councilman I got to know Rich very well. He served Streetsboro for over 30 years, with his last five as Chief of Police. He was a fixture at Family Days and a member of the Chamber of Commerce. He has been very honorable. In my over twenty years of part time work with the city I was also the Director of Parks and Recreation. I became familiar with with many volunteers who gave it their all for City Park. I knew the originators from the mid 1960's like Mayor French, former County Sherrif Alan Mckitrick, longtime Chairman Ted Miracle, Gloria Allen and the list goes on who actually made the park what it is today. Rich unfortunately wasn't among them. The mayor asked me why we have never named city park. I told him it was because no one person was responsible for its inception. The park's heritage has been volunteerism. As a councilman I was there when we built the police station. The largest investment ever undertaken by the city. It's a beautiful monument. Again, Rich is a great guy. I respect him greatly. The Richard Taiclet Safety Center (police station) makes more sense and honors a man who gave his life to Streetsboro protecting and serving a great community!