Triangle Park becomes — officially — Triangle Park

The Huntington Beach City Council voted Monday to officially name a park that has been part of the city for about 100 years.

Triangle Park, which surrounds the Main Street Library, was recently placed on the city's park inventory list, and the naming process was required.

Councilman Matthew Harper opposed permanently naming it Triangle Park. Rather, he wanted the park, which has been informally known as Triangle, to be named after respected community members such as former World War II pilot Vi Cowden.

Saving the park became an issue when the city was in the process of updating its Downtown Specific Plan. Residents feared it would be replaced with development, so they petitioned the city to preserve it.

At first, the naming of the park seemed like a non-issue. In fact, it was placed under the consent agenda items, which meant discussion wasn't warranted unless a council member or someone from the public asked to address it further.

But it quickly dragged on, prompting Councilman Don Hansen to refer to it as laughable.

"I think these are the issues that draw late-night television humor to government," he said. "We have hundreds and hundreds of issues on our plate. We've got bigger fish to fry."

The majority of council members agreed that the name should be Triangle. But then Mayor Joe Carchio wanted staff to place park amenities at Triangle, like a picnic table and playground for kids. He said the park is right across from the Huntington Beach Art Center, where a lot of children visit and should have the place to enjoy. He motioned to name the park Triangle and direct staff to get the amenities installed in the park.

With none other than Councilman Keith Bohr's support, Carchio's motion failed.

The council then voted on the original motion, which was simply to officially name the park Triangle. That one passed.

In other city business, the city manager and heads of departments agreed to contribute more of their share to the state pension system. The 2.5% increase will save the city $74,500 in the next two years. The concession is part of ongoing negotiations with the city's employee groups to help close the budget gap and avoid additional expenses from rising pension costs.

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