Published: 22 October 2011 04:36 PM

A proposal to rename Riverside City Hall for Mayor Ron Loveridge may be shelved, after community resistance took proponents by surprise.

The long-serving Loveridge, who has held elected office in Riverside since 1979, likely will be commemorated in some permanent, public way, but it won’t be until he’s left office and it might not be with a plaque on City Hall.

The informal committee of residents who suggested the name change is now proposing that discussion be delayed until later in Loveridge’s term, which he has said will be his last as mayor, and others are floating different ideas of which community facility is most fitting for the honor.

Even when it comes to a popular politician — Loveridge won four terms on the City Council and five as mayor — putting a person’s name on a building can be a surprisingly touchy subject. Kathy Allavie, a Riverside Unified school board member who was part of the group that proposed the City Hall name change, said the idea arose when they were making a video tribute to Loveridge for an event.

“We all rather organically suggested that as a celebration for the end of his term it would be wonderful to do this,” she said.

“It never even crossed our minds that we might receive this kind of resistance because we all felt that he had given so much.”

Council members said the feedback they’ve heard has been mixed. Aside from a few complaints about the mayor’s policies, most residents say they appreciate the mayor’s service and their objections aren’t related to Loveridge himself.

Most people seem to fall into one of two camps. For some, it’s too soon to discuss the issue — as resident Ron Nelthorpe wrote in an email, “I don’t think this conversation should come up until long after he is out of office.”

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