Salem Council committee considers sign honoring Howard Tibbs

SALEM —  A council committee again discussed an additional honorary name of Howard Tibbs Way for West Second Street, this time recommending a less expensive, sharper-looking sign.

The Streets, Alleys and Sidewalks Committee also agreed to recommend paying for the signs out of the council contingency fund, pending a determination of whether that’s an allowable expense from the fund.

The changes were discussed during a recent session of the committee.

Tibbs’ son, Philip, who attended the Zoom meeting and had made the request to have his father recognized, didn’t appear to have a problem with the new style of sign, but did ask that his father’s middle initial be included so it’s Howard A. Tibbs Way.

The original design had a price tag of $963, but Councilman Steve Faber, who chairs the committee, credited children of city Service/Safety Director Joe Cappuzzello who saw a street sign with an honorary name above the street name in Cleveland and thought it looked nice.

“I think these are going to stick out better,” Faber said.

The cost of the two-sided signs needed for the three affected intersections was quoted at $388.

West Second Street will remain officially West Second Street, but with an additional honorary name of Howard A. Tibbs Way from North Ellsworth Avenue to Jennings Avenue.

A graduate of Salem High School, the late Howard A. Tibbs was a member of the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II and received the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal posthumously in 2007, along with two other men from Salem who were members of the Tuskegee Airmen, George S. Catlin and Joseph Cooper.

Councilwoman Cyndi Baronzzi Dickey, another member of the committee, questioned whether the sign purchase was a correct use of the council contingency fund. She asked that law Director Brooke Zellers be asked about it.

The honorary name designation and what fund to use will now move to city council for a decision.

In a related matter, Philip Tibbs noted that Howard Avenue was named for his great-grandfather, Charles Howard. He and the family would like some type of recognition for that at the intersection with West Second Street.

Faber said that could be discussed at another meeting, but suggested something similar to the bronze plaque commemorating Strotter Brown near the Salem Memorial Building.



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