Steinbach City Council authorized the renaming of Hampton Village Park to Chris Goertzen Park at Tuesday’s council meeting.
In Steinbach, when an outgoing mayor has retired or left the seat, it’s customary for the next council to name a park after them.
Mayor Earl Funk says council has followed the tradition for every mayor up until now.
“We haven't had that much luck finding one for former mayor Chris Goertzen, but there is a new park now that the play area got built this summer, and I think we're very close to renaming it.”
Hampton Village Park is a special park for Goertzen as he was instrumental in working with the developer and having the area kept as a green space.
“The intent was always just a passive green space, but now the neighbors have gotten together, worked with the city, and had a play structure put there,” says Funk. “And one neighbor put a picnic shelter up, and we just thought this would be a perfect park to name after the former mayor Chris Goertzen.”
Councillor Susan Penner is glad that this park is getting renamed after Goertzen.
“He served on council for quite a while, so this is only appropriate that we get this done. There's been a bit of a time lag, which is unfortunate, but it will be worth it because it's a really great park.”
Councillor Michael Zwaagstra says it’s great to keep up the tradition.
“It shows that we honor our past leaders. Chris Goertzen served as mayor for 12 years, and on council for four years before that, so total of 16 years of service in council.”
Zwaagstra says Goertzen provided good leadership to the city during his time as mayor.
“There was a lot of growth that happened in the city during his 12 years as mayor. And of course, this is one of those areas where growth happened,” he says. “He played a key role in negotiating to ensure that the area would be green space, so it's appropriate that park be named the Chris Goertzen Park.”
Mayor Earl Funk says 16 years is a long time to be on council.
“And I got to be on council for eight years with him, and that is where our city started to really grow as it is growing now, and as the premier said last week, the fastest growing region in our province.”
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