Renaming Rescinded

July 6, 2017

The Williamsville (N.Y.) Central School Board will not be renaming three high school fields after individuals. The decision was announced after a board meeting, stating that the community should be at the helm for naming.

“I firmly believe the board made a mistake. I know I made a mistake,” Shawn P. Lemay, newly elected board president, told The Buffalo News. “I think something like this needs to be in the community’s hands.”

The naming proposal had originally been made by the board’s outgoing president during his last meeting. Although the proposal was made due to superintendent Scott Martzloff’s $27 million improvements to the three fields, he protested the idea. The other fields were to be named for James Rusin, who was the longtime athletic director at Williamsville East High School; and Kevin Lester, who is the retiring athletic director at Williamsville South High School.

“As I enter my seventh year in the school district, it was the worst process I have ever seen,” Dr. Scott Martzloff told The Buffalo News. “It was rushed, it was too fast.”

The decision to rescind the vote is also being met with scrutiny. Although the board did not state how it would seek community input, it suggested having administrators investigate whether the fields should be named at all.

“I think we are approaching a very slippery slope if we rescind the vote,” Toni Vazquez, board member and former board president, told The Buffalo News. “When do we decide when naming rights are community rights and when they are board rights? That’s the slippery slope we are on and I don’t know the answer to that.”



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