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Council picks The Waypoint as the name of the island’s new park

Bainbridge Island’s newest park will be called The Waypoint.

But the decision didn’t come without deep objections by the island’s city council.

The name came to the council as a recommendation from the Bainbridge Island Metro Parks & Recreation District. The district held a public process to name the park and whittled the list of recommendations down to The Waypoint.

The council’s discussion over the naming of the park was bitter. Councilman Bob Scales and Councilwoman Kirsten Hytopoulos did not favor taking a recommendation from the parks district.

The Citizen’s Park Task Force, the island group behind creating the park, had asked the parks district to help with the naming of the park since the district already had a process for the task. At its last meeting, the parks board considered the name suggestions provided by the task force, and heard from the public.

But both council members Hytopoulos and Scales argued that since the property was owned by the city and Kitsap Transit, and not the parks district, that the city should have a say in its naming.

“It feels like bullying,” Hytopoulos said. “I think it would have been more respectful to have had the property owner choose the name.”

But it wasn’t just the process that council members found objectionable.

The suggested name, “The Waypoint,” wasn’t found to be acceptable by some council members.

Councilwoman Sarah Blossom said she didn’t like it and could not support it.

Scales read through a list of possible definitions of the word “waypoint,” noting how he did not understand it, or how it related to the park.

“The most logical name is Gateway Park,” Scales said.

Councilwoman Debbi Lester said that she too did not initially like the name “The Waypoint” but had warmed up to it after understanding the nautical term.

She noted that a compass-like feature has been proposed for the new park.

When the name was originally suggested on the Citizen’s Park Task Force’s website, it was proposed because of the island’s historical relation to the nautical world. “Waypoint” was recommended because it was a nautical term for a location in which to navigate one’s way — a previously stated purpose of the park.

Councilman Steve Bonkowski found the suggestion quite appropriate. He also noted that the city, the property’s co-owner, was doing nothing with the site. It was only through a community group, the Citizens Park Task Force, that anything has even been done to make it an attractive corner.

Despite her objections, Hytopoulos said that she would vote for the suggestion for the sake of the community.

The name was ultimately accepted by a 4-2 vote — Councilman David Ward was absent from the meeting — with Scales and Blossom voting no.

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