Holding a key to the city of Fountain Valley will remain a figurative distinction.
The City Council unanimously rejected creating a new top civilian honor and will stick with proclamations, certificates and congratulatory letters to commemorate local people and events.
The council on Tuesday considered adopting a policy for a key to the city “for extraordinary service and contribution to the betterment of the city of Fountain Valley.” The honor would go beyond existing gestures of appreciation.
The council previously seemed receptive to the key concept, suggesting nomination and deliberation procedures. But when Councilwoman Cheryl Brothers suggested it would be a better gift for a “sister city” than an individual or organization, the rest of the council pulled back on the idea.
“There are so many people in this community that do extraordinary things every day that it diminishes to me the importance of extraordinary service to the city if we start giving them out to lots of people,” Brothers said.
Keys to the city are common ceremonial nods traditionally fashioned as oversize and trophy-like. They hark back to a time when cities were walled and secured with locked gates.
The council typically starts each meeting with recognition of at least one community member. Recent honorees have been a man celebrating his 100th birthday and a Fountain Valley police dog entering retirement.