City discusses renaming Danville Public Library after city's first female mayor

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DANVILLE, Va. (WDBJ7) The Danville Public Library could take on a new name soon, in honor of the city's first woman mayor.

Many of you might remember Ruby Archie. She was an educator, a city council member, and the city's first female mayor. She passed away in 2010.

Those that knew her say she touched many lives.

"People have periodically kind of brought up, you know, there's no buildings named after a woman in Danville and we've had several prominent female leaders that have done great things," says Danville Memorial Commission Chairman, Lee Vogler.

Danville resident Renita Townes started the petition to get the name changed at the library.

Townes says that she was unaware she would be responsible for raising the funds.

Now, city councilman Gary Miller says he will do it, if it's allowed.

"This is the perfect building to name after her. She was a teacher, an English teacher. Besides being mayor, and on the council, and being just a wonderful person, this is a no brainer. This is going to pass nine to nothing at council," says Miller.

This isn't the first time a private group has paid for the renaming of a building.

The Danville courthouse, known as the "James F. Ingram Justice Center" was paid for by the Danville Bar Association.

City staff is working on getting a cost for the signage.

Miller is also waiting to see if he can take over fundraising even though Townes is on the record.

City council members say it shouldn't be a problem garnering support.

"I think it's more powerful when the community comes together and really rather than a city government doing it and it has been driven by the community and just in the last week, the number of people who have stepped up to say we're willing to help, we'll raise the money, we'll do whatever we need to do. We want to honor Ruby Archie," says Vogler.

It says in the city ordinance that when a renaming like this takes place it has to be privately funded.

Ironically, Archie was on the council when that ordinance was passed in 2001.