REGISTER VIEWPOINT: Walk of fame

Too bad it became, if only briefly, a political football. City Commissioner Julie Farrar had a simple enough idea: a walk of fame of sorts, with bricks commemorating the achievements of local student athletes, in one of Sandusky's numerous parks. For starters, each brick in the walkway would recognize a former state champion.
Commentary
Apr 14, 2010

Too bad it became, if only briefly, a political football.

City Commissioner Julie Farrar had a simple enough idea: a walk of fame of sorts, with bricks commemorating the achievements of local student athletes, in one of Sandusky's numerous parks. For starters, each brick in the walkway would recognize a former state champion.

Commissioners John Hamilton and Pervis Brown wondered, why limit it to athletics? Kids excel in debate, in scouting, in art.

Responding to another suggestion by Farrar, ex officio Mayor Dan Kaman noted the city used to recognize young athletic achievers with signs at the city limits, but stopped because this parent or that would complain when, in the normal course of rotating the signs, one athlete's sign would come down while another's sign stayed up.

We imagine there's a perfect world somewhere in which people get just as excited about non-athletic achievements as they do the slam dunk basket or the 50-yard run -- and in which parents don't jealously live through their kids the lives they used to live, or wish they had.

Fact is, it's the athletes who bring people in to pack the stands every Friday night during the season. Celebrations are where you find them.

We also imagine, in that perfect world, there's the money to recognize those achievers with parks, or parts of parks, and you don't have to worry about taking care of the bricks, let alone cutting the grass.

So here's our suggestion to the committee commissioners voted to start, to examine how this might be done: Let's celebrate our young people and see if we can do it with donations, as Farrar wants to do with the city-limit signs. Athletes, academics, artists -- whomever we can scrape up enough donations to honor.

That'll take the onus off the city budget -- and we'll find out what we value.