City's Wall of Fame process needs some tweaking
Last month, the Porterville City Council agreed to add seven more plaques with names to the city’s Wall of Fame on display in the Heritage Center.
The seven new faces will join 15 others who were previously named.
We agree with Councilman Cam Hamilton that the council needs to revisit the nomination and selection process.
The original plan was to have those honored only stay on the wall for just five years. That has been abandoned, and plaques will remain on the wall as long as there is room.
Not to take anything away from those who have been honored, we do feel that not placing a limit on how many can be added each year tends to diminish the honor. After all, if there is no criteria and council members are arguing for “their nominee,” then it is more of a council popularity contest rather than an actual honor for those chosen.
We would suggest the council appoint a three-person panel, with a new panel appointed every year, to review the merits of those nominated. The council will make up to five recommendations — one each — based on nominations from the community and a criteria that those being considered must have made a significant contribution to the betterment of the community. The panel would then select three honorees every year.
Those nominated but not selected would be considered again the next year along with the five new nominees, but they can only remain up for consideration for three years and are then removed and not considered again for a period of five years.
We would also like to see citizen nominations limited to one per year.
Honoring those citizens who have contributed to this community is important. Many people, some still alive, have made significant contributions. But, if there is no cap or criteria set, the significance of being honored may be watered down. We would hate to see that occur.