It’s not all that unusual for a city to rename a government office building for an elected official who served the public. Building dedications honoring politicians are common on the state level, too.
But Alaska’s second-largest city, Fairbanks, made an unusual move when it renamed its city hall this week.
Instead of honoring a mayor or councilmember, Fairbanks renamed its seat of government in honor of a devoted city worker, Patrick Cole, who liked to work behind the scenes and largely out of public view. Cole died last year after complications from a heart transplant.
According to the News Miner, Cole’s municipal career in Fairbanks, which included stints as assistant borough attorney, borough administrative director, city manager, deputy city attorney and chief of staff, spanned 40 years through the administrations of eight mayors.
“He did not believe in attention so he would be kind of embarrassed by this honor because he really liked behind the scenes and giving credit to other people which is another great strength of his,” his brother, Dermot Cole, told KTVF-TV on Tuesday.
WATCH: Renaming Fairbanks City Hall for Patrick Cole