City Councilman Mark Packard wants to rename Alga Norte Community Park. He claims a "small group" of his constituents told him the Spanish word for "alga" is "algae," a scummy name for a family facility in this Village by the Sea.

The park is located on Alicante Road, a mile north of Alga Road. So, why not Alicante Park? The translation of "alicante" in my Spanish/English dictionary is "poisonous snake." I'd say North Algae Park is less offensive than North Poisonous Snake Park.

But maybe there's an even better reason the anonymous namer of parks came up with Alga Norte. The first English translation I found for "alga" is "seaweed." Doesn't North Seaweed Park sound about right for this beach community?

Mayor Matt Hall was not as supportive of a name change. But he said the potential for corporate cash for the park's upkeep by selling naming rights sounded appealing to him.

The city approved a policy last year setting guidelines for naming municipal facilities in return for financial contributions. City Council Policy #48 stipulates a city park's name may be changed when its current name is deemed no longer "befitting," a synonym for "proper," "correct," and "decent."

Ever mindful of its history of befittedness, the city's policy describes the additional hoops a corporation must jump through to land its name on the front of civic buildings and their amenities in our fair city.

  1. They must make a "significant financial contribution."

  2. They must specify the duration of the naming opportunity.

  3. They must negotiate with the city a "market value assessment" that's "commensurate with construction, operations and maintenance costs."

  4. They can't be companies "whose business is substantially derived from the sale of alcohol, tobacco, firearms, pornography and sexually explicit goods or services."

That would rule out the Gunther Gifts and Guns Playfield. The local retail business located in the city's Industrial Zone recently won council approval to add walk-in firearms sales to its online inventory of "Personalized Gifts for Important People."

Alga Norte Community Park offers an abundance of naming rights opportunities, in addition to the entire complex. Here are my suggestions for enticing corporate partners who've found homes in other sports facilities in California.

Qualcomm Community Park Arrowhead Aquatic Center Jenny Craig Skate Park Home Depot Picnic Area Save Mart Softball fields STAPLES Basketball Court Dodge Playground PETCO Dog Park Auto Club Parking Lot Sleep Train Spa Oracle Competition Pool

To paraphrase the Bard, would Alga Norte, by any other name, sound as sweet? Councilman Packard would say yes. Mayor Hall would say, show me the money.

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