By Steve Guntli
Bruce Wolf will receive a plaque in H Street Plaza, but will not have a plaza named for him.
On Monday, Blaine City Council voted to add the plaque next to others placed on the wall in H Street Plaza. The council voted 6–0 in favor (Steve Lawrenson was absent).
Mike Myers, a former mayor of Blaine, had suggested naming G Street Plaza in Wolf’s honor during a city council meeting in June. The council forwarded the suggestion to the Parks and Cemetery Board for evaluation. Wolf, a former city council member and co-founder, with wife Sandy Wolf, of the Drayton Harbor Music Festival, was killed last Christmas when he was struck by a car while walking his dog on Semiahmoo spit.
The parks board was open to paying tribute to Wolf, but was reluctant to rename the plaza. At the October 15 regular meeting, parks board director Sandie Miller expressed concern that naming the plaza after Wolf would show a lack of regard to other prominent Blaine figures who died this year, such as Mel Hollinger and Wes Thompson.
“The parks board was in a really difficult situation with this proposal,” said Blaine community planner Michael Jones. “On the one hand, Mr. Wolf has done so much for this community and deserves to be recognized, but on the other we have a lot of deserving citizens and a limited number of public facilities.”
The board suggested moving the memorial from G Street to H Street Plaza, which they felt would be a better fit with the Vigil statue and the existing plaques along the north wall. The board also discussed the possibility of renaming H Street Plaza to Blaine Civic Leaders Memorial Plaza, or something similar.
The building abutting H Street Plaza belongs to the Hollinger family, and the plaques there now are not memorials, but recognition for people who donated to the Vigil statue. Myers would need to contact the owners of the building to get permission to hang the plaque, and even then it would be provisional.
“It’s likely that building will be developed at some point,” Jones said. “Then we’ll have to find another solution.”
Jones suggested a seating wall, similar to the structure in front of Edaleen Dairy, which could serve as a memorial to prominent citizens. Determining where and when to construct the wall or alternate structure will be a matter for the parks board.