Gardena officials are studying a businessman's proposal to rename Compton Boulevard to honor longtime Los Angeles County Supervisor Kenneth Hahn.
The street has already been renamed in the City of Paramount, which changed it to Somerset Boulevard in 1986 after business owners said they wanted to dissociate themselves from what they described as Compton's crime-ridden image.
But Chuck Nader, the former councilman who proposed the change to the Gardena City Council last week, said his idea is not an anti-Compton move. Rather, he said, the proposal is intended to end "the ongoing confusion among residents, businesses and visitors here who think addresses on Compton Boulevard are in the City of Compton." The two cities are actually about 1 1/2 miles apart.
And, Nader said, it is a way to honor a longtime public servant. "Especially since Kenny Hahn has been ill, I thought it would be a nice way to pay a tribute to the man," he said. Hahn, who has been a supervisor for 35 years, was at a dinner in Gardena when he suffered a stroke a year ago.
Nader, who owns a furniture store that has been on Compton Boulevard for 38 years, said he conducted an informal survey of Compton Boulevard business owners to gauge their reaction. He said he received positive responses to a name change but some arguments against naming the street for Hahn.
The supervisor, too, has some reservations, according to Councilman Mas Fukai, who is also Hahn's deputy. After speaking briefly with Hahn about the proposal, Fukai said Hahn is "not too keen on having a street named after him at this point."
"We really don't know the sentiments of the people who live there and the expense they would have to go through," Fukai said.
Hahn was also concerned that the change would be disruptive, Fukai said, since the thoroughfare already has several names. In addition to the different name in Paramount, the street becomes Marine Avenue in Manhattan Beach.