Building naming caused “emotional upheaval”

In what was called a symbolic vote, Councillor Ranj Pillai voted against naming the new building at the top of Two Mile Hill the Whitehorse Public Safety Building.

In what was called a symbolic vote, Councillor Ranj Pillai voted against naming the new building at the top of Two Mile Hill the Whitehorse Public Safety Building.

The naming of the building became controversial when the city suggested in a public advertisement that the building be named after Fred Blaker, the city’s first fire chief.

That suggestion created an “emotional upheaval” for certain families in the city, said Pillai who was in Stratford when the city initially voted on the issue.

That was because several people in the city wanted to see the building named after past fire chief Brian Monahan.

To diffuse any disagreements, the city settled on the generic name, the Whitehorse Public Safety Building.

“Why did we use that example (of Fred Blaker in the advertisement)?” Pillai said on Monday.

“There was damage done as a result.”

Monahan’s daughter, Rhonda Meyn, was at city hall to see how councillors would vote on the issue.

“Of course I wanted to see my father’s name on the side of the building, but I wouldn’t have minded if they had chosen Fred’s name too,” she said.

“My thing was for council to admit that (the whole issue) had been mishandled.”