Two weeks before , former Mill Valley Mayor Dick Jessup hosted more than a dozen former mayors at his home near the . The get-together was both an indication of Jessup’s stature in town and a realization that the end was near.
The group chatted for a while over wine and cheese, with most of the former local pols paying their respects to the man who came up with the idea to create the and designed it, according to current (and former) Mayor Garry Lion, who attended the gathering.
Jessup first proposed transforming the former train station-turned-bus station at the center of downtown, with Greyhound and Golden Gate Transit buses turning around in the area where customers now sit outside and parking being the dominant use, into a community gathering place surrounded by parking. The plaza was built in 1982 based on Jessup’s drawings.
“There was also quite a bit of discussion and even the suggestion that the city ought to consider renaming the plaza in Dick’s honor,” Lion said of the gathering.
Lion said there is an existing City Council policy of not naming streets or places in town after people while they are living, but that obviously doesn't apply to Jessup.
Lion said he supports the idea of connecting Jessup in a more pronounced way with the Depot Plaza, either naming it after him or, at the very least, installing a plaque recognizing his role in its creation. Several councilmembers declined to comment, saying it was a bit premature for them to weigh in right now since the matter could come before them in the future.
"I personally would like to honor Dick’s contributions in a meaningful, public way – and the city will do that," Councilwoman Shawn Marshall said. "I’m not sure about the renaming of major public facilities after any one person, but this is something the council needs to discuss. Either way, I don't consider it a litmus test for how much he was loved and respected in Mill Valley – that goes without saying."
So what do you think? Should the city name the Depot Plaza after Dick Jessup? Is a plaque more appropriate? Vote in our poll below and let us know in the Comments section why you feel the way you do.