What’s in a name?
Airport Director Karen Ramsdell said she has received 76 emails or letters with proposed names, with most suggesting the facility should continue to be known simply as the Santa Barbara Airport.
“They obviously feel a connection with the airport, which I appreciate, and I know council does as well,” Ramsdell said. “For the most part, the people who submitted suggestions took the ‘assignment’ seriously and took the time to give their opinion or suggestion.”
A majority of proposals supported keeping the current airport name, or adding Terminal, according to the spreadsheet put together and attached to the council’s agenda.
Some proposals stated that because the airport is located in Goleta, that name should be incorporated in the name of the terminal.
Just a few days before the terminal opened in August 2011, local attorney Mack Staton suggested naming the building after former Santa Barbara Mayor John Rickard. Staton has lived in Santa Barbara for about 29 years, and met Rickard many times, he told Noozhawk.
“I think he’s done more for the city ... and especially in connection with the airport, than any other single individual in the city,” Staton said in support of his suggested name. “He made efforts to bring people here.”
Staton’s request was the trigger that opened the process up to the public. According to the Municipal Code, the city must take requests like these into consideration and apply a process for the election of names for public facilities.
“I think that council was thoughtful in delaying their decision and asking the community to give their input and suggestions,” Ramsdell said.
Other proposals sent in by community members range from names with a personal interest to those of prominent community members, such as Earle Ovington, a pioneer in the history of aviation who built the first airfield in Santa Barbara.
Click here to download the full list of proposed names.
Among previous recognitions of community members tied to the airport is the plaque in honor of former Mayor Patrick Maher, who served from the year the airport opened, 1936, until 1945.
According to a letter to the council, by Ramsdell, family members want to ensure that the recognition is bestowed upon their relatives.
“Tuesday’s discussion will be interesting,” Ramsdell said.
The City Council is scheduled to take up the matter at 2 p.m Tuesday at City Hall, 735 Anacapa St.
“Since this is a public hearing, I’m sure there will be others who will make suggestions at the meeting and the council will certainly take them into consideration,” Mayor Helene Schneider said.