Name Shame

East Garrison was developed a little more than 15 years ago on property that had been part of Fort Ord, and includes multiple streets – like Pickett Lane – named for Confederate military leaders.

George Pickett earned lasting fame by attacking U.S. positions at the Battle of Gettysburg. Before Jubal Early ordered his men to open fire on American troops guarding Washington, D.C., he fought against Florida’s Indigenous Seminoles. Most are aware of Robert E. Lee’s record.

All three abandoned the United States in defense of the institution of Black slavery. The three men are also honored – along with other Confederates and veterans of wars against Indigenous peoples – with street names in the East Garrison community.

That could change. During a Nov. 16 meeting of the Monterey County Board of Supervisors, District 4 Supervisor Wendy Root Askew submitted a referral to the county’s administrative officer requesting details on the process involved to change designations residents may find offensive.

Before Root Askew could file a referral, the effort had to overcome a number of practical concerns raised by residents, from the hassle of filling out multiple change of address forms to the cost – at least $3,500 per street, to be paid by homeowners.

Root Askew’s referral asks county staff to evaluate payment options. Her goal is to have the county take responsibility for all fees involved. “If we can get that issue taken care of it will make the conversation easier,” she says. “It’s the right thing to do.”

Of the street names, Root Askew adds: “Someone should have been watching.”

County Administrative Officer Charles McKee has assigned staff to research the matter. They will report back with a list of impacted streets, the process for renaming, an anticipated timeline and cost.

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