I have been searching for but cannot find the legal authority for a county to name a building in honor of a deceased person with long and illustrious service to said county.
Anyone have a statute?
OK, I'll try. My thought process is this. First, the county cannot give a "gift" to a person or entity. Is there the potential for the family or others to, at some point, "profit" from this building bearing their name? Could it work to political gain?
Second, and my normal "fall back"...if there isn't a law that says we can, we can't. I'm not seeing a law that allows the Commissioners Court to name a building after anything....the first settler, the Horned Toad, a mascot...or a living / recently deceased person.
My instinct, born out by the lack of statutes to the contrary, is no.
Lisa L. Peterson
Nolan County Attorney
There may be a sustainable argument that the authority to name a public building may be implied within the commissioners court's acknowledged power to build, maintain and regulate county buildings under Loc. Gov't Code § 291.001. Admittedly, though, there's no case or Attorney General opinion on point to answer the question one way or the other.
I hope that Scott's argument is tenable; that is the only statute I saw on which one might hang his hat. We, for what it is worth, have our district courts, district clerk, district attorney, and the extension service housed in a Justice Center that bears the names of two deceased judges and one retired judge. Also, no one has really liked the building since it opened several years ago, so maybe that handles the "gift" aspect of the problem.
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