Public buildings should not be named after elected officials. Never. Not ever. No way. The very thought is a cause for division in the community because elected officials also represent only one political party. In addition, the possibility of a conflict of interest on the part of the politicians who decide on the name is far too high to expect a reasoned decision. There are many better alternatives, i.e., War hero’s, Veterans. Community members, Scientists who discovered important vaccines, private people who have done significant things, major events, important issues etc. Achievement and accomplishment can be honored but because of the nature of the process only private individuals should be selected and with all those precautions, the process is always political, always divisive.
In the case of the Senior Center why not add a simple plaque to a part of the building, “The Albert Shankele Pool Table”; “The Winston Roosevelt Gas Stove”; “The Jason Mason Men’s Room”?
Or rotate the name of the Municipal Authority building which was a controversial naming when it was made. Or better yet, follow the rule of: “Avoid infuriating controversy. Never name a public building after a politician or an elected official”.
In the case of The Northampton Senior Center, why diminish Senior Citizens by adding some politician’s name like “The George Bush Senior Center” or worse, removing “Senior Center” and calling the building “The Bush Building?