Rosa Parks played not just an important role in Alabama history, but in the nation’s history, and she did so at great risk.
Thus, any Alabama city that wants to give her its respects is certainly mindful and inclusive in its thinking to do so.
The city of Auburn recently not only welcomed discussion on how to best pay tribute to Parks, but the give-and-take manner in which it did so is a welcome respite from the costly, ugly and painful shutdown we see today in our federal government.
Frankly speaking, Congress and the White House could learn a few things from the Auburn council chamber.
Disagreement handled the right way is one of the more valued trademarks of a healthy democracy.
Rosa Parks, as any good student of America’s civil rights history and certainly Alabama’s state history should know, gained national fame for her refusal to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus during the days of segregation.
Her simple act gave charge to a national movement of using boycotts as a peaceful means of protest for civil rights.
Her courage and that of others whom she represents should never be forgotten, and along those lines, Auburn council members Connie Fitch Taylor and Tommy Dawson proposed ideas for paying tribute to Parks.
Dawson thought making Rosa Parks Day a city holiday was a good idea, and he said he found bipartisan legislation giving the city the right to do so.
However, when City Manager Jim Buston pointed out that creating a new city holiday would come at a cost of at least $130,000 annually, all wisely seemed to agree that other ideas, such as naming a library, might be a better option and would still serve the purpose.
Indeed, just the math would suggest that the cost of more than a half-million dollars within five years could mean constructing an entirely new building for the city, or perhaps fund many infrastructure needs, or add first-responders and other city personnel to the payrolls.
There are many ways a small city can spend $130,000 a year in tax money other than giving employees an additional day off.
Dawson and Taylor, to their credit, agreed, and then suggested the city place a library in the Boykin Community Center, with the name Rosa Parks Library.
Not only is that kind of move more practical financially, it actually is more likely to prompt educational opportunities about Rosa Parks for future generations curious about the name.
Whether that library proposal or another creative suggestion emerges, it appears that Mayor Ron Anders and the entire council is interested in working together to find the right solution for a noble idea.
Perhaps the good folks of Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., need to come pay a visit to the loveliest village on the plains to see how it’s done.