On December 10, 2019, the Board of Selectmen voted the following charge for the Naming By-law Committee:
Article 40 of Hingham’s General By-Laws establishes the Town’s process for the naming of public buildings and public lands. The Naming By-Law Committee should review Article 40, assess whether the Article, in its present form, serves the best interests of the Town, and make recommendations with respect to possible changes to Article 40 to better promote the interests of the Town. The Committee’s review of Article 40 should include, but need not be limited to, the following considerations:
Whether and when to name public buildings or lands for a living people or families
Whether and when to name public buildings or lands for a commercial enterprise
Whether and when to name public buildings or lands for civic organizations
Naming rights and public/private partnerships
Reputational risk clauses
Funding levels associated with naming
Approval processes to name public buildings or lands
Name-removal processes for public buildings or lands
The Committee’s review should include how other communities, specifically the Town’s 19 benchmark communities, handle the naming of public buildings and public lands. The Committee should also interview Town and civic committees, boards, and employees. The Committee should consult with the Town Administrator to facilitate review by Town Counsel as appropriate.
The Board of Selectmen will appoint five members to the Committee and will designate one member to serve as chair. The Committee will provide interim progress reports to the Board of Selectmen and report its recommendations to the Board by November 1, 2020.