PLEASANTON -- Bernal Community Park could be renamed in honor of former mayor Ken Mercer, but only if city leaders override a policy that requires a five-year delay in naming a city facility after a deceased person.

The city's parks and recreation commission will consider the proposal at its meeting Thursday at 7 p.m. in the city council chamber, 200 Old Bernal Ave.

The commission "will recommend something, so there's really no decision on Thursday," Mark Spiller, community services manager, said. "The council is still going to want to weigh in ... It could go a number of different directions."

The idea to name the park in honor of Mercer, a longtime mayor who died of cancer early this year, was discussed at the Feb. 4 city council meeting. The hitch is that a 2004 policy change states that no parks or facilities can be named for a person until that person has been dead at least five years.

The parks commission will consider a one-time exception, opt for a plaque honoring Mercer, revise the park-naming policy or deny the request.

"The commission could ask staff to research this a little bit further," Spiller said. "Are there other parks or cities that do things a little bit differently? They may want to look at the ramifications of what could happen here and report back."


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Bernal Community Park is south of Bernal Avenue, just east of Interstate 680. The 50-acre park currently has sports fields and a walking trail, but the area is still being developed.