Decides To Establish Policy First
CLAREMONT, NH--The pedestrian bridge connecting the historic mill district with the Visitors Center Green on North St. may soon be known by another name, i.e., that of the former City Manager Guy Santagate. At the City Council meeting Wednesday night, much of the discussion centered on what if any procedure existed for taking such action; apparently, there has never been any formal ordinance covering such decisions, and councilors decided to have the Policy Committee review the issue.
Support for naming the bridge in honor of Santagate surfaced last year, and support from several parties was presented at Wednesday’s meeting. In a letter from David Messier, chair of the Historic District Commission, Santagate was praised for how he was “able to revitalize the crumbling mill district”, and he was described as “a tireless cheerleader for Claremont” by Messier.
Former Councilor Kyle Messier also voiced support for the idea, saying she thought such an honor was appropriate, especially when she considered Santagate “a connector” who helped link the past with future growth.
Don Limoges said that while he was not opposed to the proposal of naming the bridge for Santagate, he thought Mike Satzow deserved the honor for his many years of community service, finding ways to revitalize the mill district and for what his business, North Country Smokehouse, had done for the community. Kyle Messier said that Satzow had told her that while he was honored by the idea, he would not accept it. Satzow also expressed the same sentiment on social media.
While several streets and parks have been named after Claremont citizens, Mayor Charlene Lovett said that there was no specific criteria for naming something after someone. Communities have the right to name anything that is City property, she said, although streets fall under a different category due to 911 requirements. Councilor Nick Koloski said that he agreed with establishing criteria, saying he saw no rush in renaming the bridge at this time.
“Myself, I thought that naming a bridge would be pretty easy,” said Kyle Messier.
Santagate served as City Manager of Claremont for 15 years and retired at the end of last year. School Superintendent Middleton McGoodwin also voiced support for naming the bridge after Santagate.