Naming project not a Dunn deal

Police chide city commissioners for nonresponse to request concerning fallen officer.
Andy Ouriel
Oct 9, 2013


Members of the local Fraternal Order of Police criticized Sandusky city commissioners for apparently ignoring a request they made 19 months ago.

In February 2012, leaders from two FOP organizations asked commissioners to consider naming the new west end overpass in honor of slain Sandusky police Officer Andrew Dunn, who died from a fatal gun shot in March 2011 while on duty. Commissioners debated about what to name the bridge during a public meeting in early March.

The bridge, debuting a couple of weeks ago, spans the railroad tracks near Venice Road and Tiffin Avenue. Since then, however, officials failed to engage in meaningful dialogue about a name — neither accepting or rejecting the union’s name request.

“Whether it was forgotten or just not the politically correct thing to do, it would have been nice if the commission would have contacted our order to make us aware of (the) decision, or should I say lack of one,” according to a letter written by union members. “It is a shame that some community members and leaders do not remember and instead seem to feel that it is easier to just forget.”

The letter, addressed to all seven city commissioners, specifically named ex officio mayor John Hamilton.

“We probably should have said something to them,” Hamilton said.

On Friday, the Register sent an email to Hamilton and the six other commissioners — Pervis Brown, Diedre Cole, Julie Farrar, Keith Grohe, Wes Poole and Jeff Smith — about if they would name the overpass after someone.

No commissioner responded to the email.

This isn’t the first time commissioners and other city officials have seemingly ignored a simple request.

In early 2013, Erie County commissioners offered city officials space inside a county-owned building in downtown Sandusky.

The county’s proposal called for beginning a discussion about whether the city might be interested in relocating administrative offices at City Hall to the County Administrative Building at Washington Row and Columbus Avenue, the former Lasalle’s department store.

The proposal resulted from Sandusky officials having discussed possibly relocating the current City Hall, an antiquated 57-year-old facility requiring a multi-million dollar upgrade.

County commissioners, however, never heard back from any city commissioner nor city manager Nicole Ard.

“It’s difficult to do business with a partner that never responds,” Ere County commissioner Bill Monaghan said. “Even a response of ‘we’ll think about it’ would have been adequate, but we got no response.”


doggie mom

You mean Ms. Cole did not jump at the opportunity to have her name in the paper??? What is the world coming to?

Matt Westerhold

Thanks doggie mom for the comment. It might seem to you and to other readers that commissioner Cole "jumps at the opportunity to get her name in the paper." From our perspective, however, she's willing to take a question from a reporter and respond to it, even the more difficult questions. She and commissioner Wes Poole seem to be the only Sandusky city commissioners able to readily respond to most inquiries from the newspaper. Since they offer response, when others don't, they get more press coverage.

doggie mom

I do see things differently Mr. Westerhold. I feel Ms Cole is an opportunist with an agenda all her own rather than just a commissioner with the communities best interest in mind.

dorothy gale



I wonder about the constant "Cole and Poole" comments myself, but if they truly are the only one's willing to talk to the "press" that does raise some questions for me. I think I will contact a few commissioners and ask why that is? Will be interesting to find out why. After all they serve this community as well and should be answering questions even if they don't like the SR.


I believe it is wrong to name a project after one person. What happens if a year from now we lose a fireman, police officer, etc. Will they not be as worthy as Officer Dunn to have something named after them? Why does this overpass even need a name? If it is decided to have one, then it needs to honor ALL fallen city employees. Not just one.


I totally agree....I think they should name the overpass something more "generic" in terms of this overpass if anything at all. While officer Dunn died tragically, there are MANY from this community who have lost their lives in service of this community in various services over the years and it would be remiss of us to forget that.

Perhaps the city could use another area like an area in the park to satisfy the FOP if they would like to dedicate an area to just Office Dunn like down by the Police and Firefighter area. Naming just the overpass in his honor discounts everyone else.


What about all the fallen Soldiers and Marines from here? Don't they count?

Colonel Angus

They all count. Whether it's Officer Dunn, Spc. Charles E. Odums II, or anyone else who selflessly gave their lives, they are all deserving of recognition. That being said, in the interest of inclusion perhaps the overpass name should be something along the lines of Freedom, Heroes or Sacrifice.


How about just Tribute or I really like the idea of Freedom....that fits two things....Freedom from being tied up from traffic from the trains any more and Freedom from those who protect us. Great ideas.

Finn Finn

Agree with Grandma and VoteNo.


Why name it anything? All anyone is ever going to call it is the west end overpass.


My Uncle who grew up in sandusky died in the Vietnam war .What does the FOP not think he also is not worthy .R.I.P. Dennis Ramon
What about charles Odums II. boy the FOP needs to get off this Dunn kick and start allowing the city to fire people and not try and give them thier jobs back. what about those officers whom sexted, had drugs in their locker.

Colonel Angus

The F.O.P. is on that Dunn kick because he was a member of their organization. A better question would be, why haven't local veterans organizations and family members of the fallen been more vocal in the of naming the overpass? Maybe they have submitted a name, or maybe they feel that their hero wouldn't want their name on an overpass. If you would like the overpass named after your uncle, I'm sure the commission would be more than willing to ignore you too. The only action that we can take is to contact the commissioners and let them know which name we prefer.


Freedom overpass sounds good to me. Good idea.


I know there's a Veterans memorial downtown. I'm pretty sure there's a fire and police memorial downtown also. If the overpass is named anything at all, everyone should be included. Freedom is a great name for it. Let's not single out one of our local hero's. The VFW's motto is "To honor the dead by helping the living". We should all take that motto and live it every day.


Perhaps Liberty west overpass.


how about the city cut down the weeds on the overpass?


That's tooo long of a name.


This is opening up a can of worms. You can't go around honoring one person over another. The city should politely respond and get on with more pressing issues of the city. It happened, its done and its over with and I don't want to be reminded of the awful thing that happened to one of our police officer every time I go over the bridge. Please let the city heal. Dragging this out again and again is only reopening up old wounds. Let's look forward and not back. I hope this was not the subject of a special executive session that the police held yesterday.

Señor Clown

I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one who isn't on board with this idea. Of the things I remember about Andy, in my mind, I'm not making any connections between him and a questionably-routed ODOT project to build an overpass over the west-side train tracks. Naming public infrastructure projects after our deceased seems... Odd. Parks, residential streets, schools - okay, no problem. An overpass? Eh...

Now if you want to build a street downtown that just goes in a circle, serves no purpose at all, doesn't connect with anything else, and costs a bunch of money, and you want to name it Ard Street, I'd support that.


Many section of roadways and bridges are named after fallen military heroes throughout this country.

Good 2 B Me

Enough is enough. Let it be. Next will be renaming Sandusky: Dunndusky or something. This is getting old.

Good 2 B Me

Maybe sell naming rights like they do for Stadiums!

Maybe ObamaPass or First Energy Overpass. Toft's Overpass.

Julie R.

Erie County commissioner Bill Monaghan said: "It's difficult to do business with a partner that never responds. Even a response of 'we'll think about it' would have been adequate, but we got no response."

Maybe the commissioners by not responding are trying to imitate Mr. Mohaghan's prosecutor brother-in-law, Kevin Baxter, and the two courts on the 2nd floor of the Erie County courthouse. They also are super good at that. Only difference between the two --- one is rude, the other illegal.


Why does this newspaper try to equate naming the overpass after a city servant and hero to a one sided building proposal that was only an attempt to make the city look bad, knowing full well it was not feasible. Maybe the city didn't respond because they knew that the county was trying to dump a problem on them.


Possible names:

Sandusky's Fallen Heroes Memorial Bridge

Sandusky Fallen Heroes Memorial Bridge

Fallen Heroes Of Sandusky Memorial Bridge

No hero of Sandusky, Ohio will be left out.


how about west side memorial bridge


Jackie Mayer got a highway, he can have an overpass. Not taking anything from her, but it seems reasonable looking at it that way.

red white and blue

Reading signs I love yhe name you came up with I think its yhe best one yet!


thank you red white and blue. Let's pray for a miracle to get it done. I get all my inspiration from Him.

red white and blue

Centauri that name you came up with is Even better


Lets tear the building down at the corner of W.Market Street & Jackson St, sw corner and build a park in honor of Andy, at least that way for the first time that location will have a useful purpose.

T. A. Schwanger

No matter what the City Commission decides on this one, someone will not be happy. The State of Ohio has for the past year embarked on a Highway Dedication Program honoring our fallen soldiers by name.

•By: Associated Press
COLUMBUS, Ohio - A growing number of state highways are being designated to serve as tributes to Ohio's fallen soldiers.

In Sandusky's instance, perhaps a dedication sign "Sandusky's Fallen Heroes Bypass" would be appropriate.


First off, I totally agree with Doggiemom. Darkhorse brings up a good point about opening a can of worms. The SR thrives on opening cans of worms when it comes to Police officers, or Public Officals. After all, it keeps the blogs all fired up.