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Watauga Commissioners Approve County Facility Naming Policy, Includes One-Year Wait Period

 By Jesse Wood

June 18, 2013. When Evelyn Shook Johnson passed away in January, friends, coworkers, board members and patrons of the Watauga County Public Library asked the county if they could rename the library the “Evelyn Shook Johnson Memorial Library” in honor of the beloved librarian who worked there for more than 35 years.

The Watauga County Board of Commissioners tabled the request in early February, just a few weeks after her passing, until county staff could draft a facility-naming policy.

At Tuesday’s commissioners meeting, County Manager Deron Geouque noted that representatives of the Watauga County Public Library are still waiting for approval to now name the library’s meeting room in honor of Evelyn Shook Johnson.

Commissioners approved the county facility/space naming policy, which includes a one-year wait period. Commissioners noted that they preferred the wait time to prevent a “knee-jerk reaction,” as Chair Nathan Miller said at a past meeting.

On Tuesday, Miller noted that he also was in favor of the policy because it gives the county a say in any naming of a county facility in case a potential moniker isn’t in-line with the “beliefs” of county residents.

The policy notes that after an application to change the name of a facility is submitted to the county, a public hearing will be scheduled to hear from other citizens on the matter.

Click here to read the entire policy.