On November 30, Park and Recreation employee Jane Witzke informed me that its park-bench sponsorship program is "on moratorium" until a project manager can be found to administer it. When it reboots, you'll again be able to dedicate a park bench to a beloved parent, child, or hamster.
You may have noticed benches with square bronze plaques in memory of someone or something. How did they come to be? Money. For $5000, you can have a bench installed in the community park of your choice with a plaque bearing your message.
According to Witzke, "You would tell us what you would like to have on the plaque and then we would send it to the plaque manufacturer and they would send back a sample and you'd be able to review that again."
With her department, the manufacturer, and the sponsor each having a gander at the plaque before it's installed, a mistake would be impossible. Oops! Have you noticed the bench in Mission Bay Park at Mariners Way and Gleason Road? The word "glorious" is missing an "o."
And what about the bench at Ocean Front Walk and San Fernando Place? No plaque, but it has "John's Bench" embossed in huge letters all the way across the back. Who is, or was, John? Until Park & Rec searches its files, that bench is mine.