The Lyon County Commission on Thursday voted 3-2 against starting the application process of renaming Old Dayton Valley Road to Pres. Trump Way after receiving a significant amount of community opposition to the recommendation.
The board initially voted 4-1 in favor of beginning the process on July 15 of changing the street’s name in Dayton after Commissioner Ken Gray brought forth the proposal. The county then received concerns it might have been in violation of the Open Meeting Law and the item was brought back to inform residents of the recommended name change.
Speaking with the Appeal on Friday about Thursday’s meeting, Gray said he had received a combination of “official negative” and “unofficial positive” feedback about the proposal. He said bringing it back as an advisory question on a ballot would be the next and fairest way for all concerned.
“They (community residents) had said they’ve been intimidated to come out in public for it,” Gray said. “They’d like to see it go to ballot in the affirmative and it’d be nobody’s business. The question’s led the entire county to weigh in as well.”
County Manager Jeff Page issued a press release earlier this month stating staff members were in the midst of completing an application and examining the potential costs for a street name change to be sent to local agencies as needed, including emergency service providers. The application would have to be forwarded to the Dayton Regional Advisory Board for consideration at its next scheduled meeting and be provided an opportunity for comments and sent back to the county’s planning commission. Any denial in the process could be appealed to the county commission for a final decision.
Residents on Thursday provided a variety of comments before the decision was made, including the potential fiscal impact of $8,000 for the physical changes involved for the changes, including document preparations, street and building signage, letterhead, business cards and recordings.
Chairwoman Vida Keller of District 2 and Gray of District 3 representing Dayton, supported the motion. Keller said Lyon County has benefited from Trump’s opportunity zones and various funding, also noting his work on the COVID-19 vaccines prior to leaving office.
Commissioners Wes Henderson, Robert Jacobson and Dave Hockaday of districts 1, 4 and 5 respectively, were against the proposal.
Henderson said while he originally had been in favor of renaming Old Dayton Valley Road, there were other “valid concerns” for not renaming to Pres. Trump Way, including Trump’s impeachment trials.
“I will continue to work to find ways for Trump to be honored within Lyon,” he said.
Hockaday said there were good points for both sides, but called for the hatred to stop, sharing how someone had slipped a note into the windshield of his mother-in-law’s car with an obscenity followed by the word “Republican.”
“I was in the military for over 20 years, which was very much apolitical,” Hockaday said. “We went back and forth on any issue and nobody got up yelling in each other’s face. That needs to stop, whether you’re a Republican or if you’re a Democrat, stop screaming and yelling. Quit listening to the news, start doing your own research and finding your facts yourself and let’s knock this garbage off.”
Gray on Friday said while he did receive concerns about the possibility of even renaming Old Dayton Valley Road for historical purposes, as a half-mile stretch of road, he said it was difficult to find an answer of what makes it historic and has received as one of the biggest complaints that it would impact the school’s addresses and cost to do so.
“We’re still recognizing the name ‘Dayton,’ ” he said. “The town is named Dayton. I don’t think it detracts from anything (by changing the road’s name). If you go to (the schools’) websites, they don’t even use ‘Old Dayton Valley Road.’ ”
Gray said perhaps the advisory question, once the controversy dies down, can be prepared for next June or November.