published Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

Warren Mackey's Chattanooga neighborhood violence meeting calms rumors, stirs political ire


by Cliff Hightower
Commissioner Warren Mackey begins a meeting at the Avondale Recreation Center on Tuesday evening to address a rumor concerning rec centers. The discussion also included violence in the communities and its relation to the centers.
Commissioner Warren Mackey begins a meeting at the Avondale Recreation Center on Tuesday evening to address a rumor concerning rec centers. The discussion also included violence in the communities and its relation to the centers.
Photo by Jake Daniels.
Follow us on Twitter for the latest breaking news
  • photo
    Direct Greta Hayes of the recreation centers and program division of Parks and Recreation addresses citizens' concerns during Tuesday's meeting. Commissioner Warren Mackey held a meeting at the Avondale Recreation Center on Tuesday evening to address a rumor concerning rec centers. The discussion also strayed into violence in the communities and its relation to the centers.
    Photo by Jake Daniels /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

  • photo
    Paula Cannon gives a counterpoint to another resident's argument concerning usage of city recreation centers. Commissioner Warren Mackey held a meeting at the Avondale Recreation Center on Tuesday evening to address a rumor concerning rec centers. The discussion also strayed into violence in the communities and its relation to the centers.
    Photo by Jake Daniels /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

  • photo
    Commissioner Warren Mackey held a meeting at the Avondale Recreation Center on Tuesday evening to address a rumor concerning rec centers. The discussion also strayed into violence in the communities and its relation to the centers.
    Photo by Jake Daniels /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

  • photo
    Commissioner Warren Mackey, left, listens as Marlin Borngne speaks his mind during a meeting at the Avondale Recreation Center on Tuesday evening. The meeting was held to address a rumor concerning rec centers. The discussion also strayed into violence in the communities and its relation to the centers.
    Photo by Jake Daniels /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

An area teacher told a standing-room-only crowd gathered Monday night at Avondale Recreation Center that neighborhoods in East Chattanooga are losing a generation.

An ex-convict argued they're actually at risk of losing three -- babies, teens and the young adults raising them all.

Meanwhile, elected officials bickered about the meeting that sparked the residents' discussion.

East Lake Academy teacher Cary Garrett said all of those, including representatives of 10 neighborhoods, had a "dog in the fight" in stopping delinquency and gang-related behavior.

"We're going to lose a whole generation if we haven't already," Garrett said.

Then Marlin Borngne, who works at Chattanooga State Community College, stood up and said the stakes were higher.

"We're not losing one generation, it's going to be three," Borngne said, after saying he learned the hard way after bad choices cost him years with his son. "The children need trades. They need something to do."

County Commissioner Warren Mackey called the meeting, originally slated to address what he described as a widespread rumor that the city planned to close four neighborhood recreation centers and open one super center.

"I heard enough to where it came to me to go ahead and accept the challenge of having an open conversation," Mackey said. "When citizens say to us that they want transparency, they want to know what's going on."

Across town, city leaders lashed out at Mackey during the City Council's committee meetings. Dan Johnson, chief of staff for Mayor Ron Littlefield, was asked if the city had responded to allegations that recreation centers were closing.

"Our chairwoman [Councilwoman Pam Ladd] responded to Mr. Mackey and told him he should not be saying those things because they aren't true," Johnson said.

Councilman Russell Gilbert, chairman of the parks and recreation committee, said he talked to Mackey personally.

"I called him and told him I had not heard anything about any recreation centers closing," Gilbert said.

Gilbert said Mackey first sent out a communitywide email saying the city would close the centers and later followed up with a second community-wide email saying the city was "backing down."

"That's not true," Gilbert said.

Chattanooga Director of Recreation Greta Hayes attended Tuesday night's meeting to stamp out rumors that the city would close any neighborhood centers and explained the hours and services provided in them. A 1999 study proposed consolidating four centers, including Avondale and Glenwood, but the city never acted on it, she said.

"There's been no action on taken on that in 12 years," she said. "To do a consolidation, you have to have resources to build a super center."

Some who attended the rec center meeting said the facilities need longer hours, more programs. Others said parents should take responsibility for their children. Many said the people present should become part of the solution and engage with neighborhood youth.

A father of four, James Ford Sr. stood quietly in the back with his wife and two of his children during the meeting.

"I can count two shootings that I know the people who got killed in the last two months," Avondale resident Ford said after the meeting. "I want my children to have the best opportunities they can."

Connect with the Times Free Press on Facebook

about Ansley Haman...

Ansley Haman covers Hamilton County government. A native of Spring City, Tenn., she grew up reading the Chattanooga Times and Chattanooga Free Press, which sparked her passion for journalism. Ansley's happy to be home after a decade of adventures in more than 20 countries and 40 states. She gathered stories while living, working and studying in Swansea, Wales, Cape Town, South Africa, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Ga., and Knoxville, Tenn. Along the way, she interned for ...

7
Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
amnestiUSAF84 said...

"The children need trades. They need something to do."

That worn out phrase has been used for over half of a century now. Stop talking about it and start being about it! More police haven't solved the problem. In fact, in many ways they've caused problems to escalates. After all, crime is job guarantee and overtime for them. Do actually believe they're going to give up that cash cow by solving your ills?

October 19, 2011 at 9:25 a.m.
fedup350 said...

So lets analyze what the affected area will get when annexed by chattaooga, their property tax will double, they will have to pay a sewer tax and storm water run off fee. Them will lose their police protection (not enough officers for what the city has now). Their roadways will become almost impassable with potholes from neglect from city offials (too busy spending momey on art and contaminated property to fix the roads). They would be under the control of the chattanooga city council ( that is a nightmare by itslf). The bright side is that they would no longer have to pay the new fee to go to the downtown library. Wow what a deal.

October 19, 2011 at 1:18 p.m.
twharr said...

They aren't making any money Amnest. That's why they rob and sell drugs. If you ask the majority of them, they would give crime up if they had a job that paid a decent wage and offered benefits. I'm sure they want a second chance, but society has shut them out. They can have one strike on their record and it's pretty much over for them. So what do they do?? They survive; that's their mindset. It's a scary thing, but it's true. Look at Right2Know...Burglary, Robbery, Theft, Drugs for resale, Murder, Criminal Trespassing, Conspiracy, etc...To them crime is their full-time job. A generation maybe lost, but there is hope to save the generation following them. There has to be grass-roots approach with a foundation that encompasses education and parent accountability.

October 19, 2011 at 1:31 p.m.
macropetala8 said...

twharr, I took it that amnesti wasn't talking about the criminals, but about crime being job guarantee and overtime for the cops.

That criminal trespassing charge can be anything. It's a non-charge, actually. Most of those criminal trespassing charges derive from when someone who has been banned from public housing tries to return to visit their son, daughter, mother residing in public housing. Usually they are young black males. So much for wanting these young men to own up and be fathers to their children, when they're routinely banned for any minor infraction from being allowed to visit them. But pretty much all of the blame can be placed on the shoulders of the leaders in black communities. They're the ones who asked, at times even begged, for such outlandish rules and laws. Did they really think a profession that has historically abused them would actually treat their offspring any better? Sheesh! Some groups never learn!!

October 19, 2011 at 3:57 p.m.
TERRORALERT said...

WALL STREET PROTESTS...NOT ANTI WALL-STREET AT ALL, BUT INSTEAD RACIALLY MOTIVATED VIOLENCE AGAINST WHITES KNOWN AS WELL UNDER ZIONIST "TRANSFER OF OWNERSHIP" FROM HANDS OF WHITE AMERICANS TO SO CALLED "MINORITIES"(COMMUNISM) http://multiculturalismisterrorism.blogspot.com/ THIS NEWS IS RELATED TO "WHITES AREN’T WELCOME IN AMERICA ANY LONGER" !!! http://www.youtube.com/user/BostjanAvsec <== OBAMA'S HEALTH CARE RECORDED LIVE IN 2009. Facts about lunatic ZIONIST Obama/Bush's twilight zone administrations(HORROR) or genocide against white population.

VISIT "MULTICULTURALISM = TERRORISM & OBAMA = OSAMA" http://stateofterror.blogspot.com/ OR “OBAMA = STALIN = BUSH or USA = SOVIET UNION” http://avsecbostjan.blogspot.com/ FROM 911 TO AMERICAN WHITE REFUGEES FILLING ASYLUM ABROAD RIGHT NOW !!! LEARN TRUTH PER WHO, HOW, AND WHY HAVE RUINED YOU...

October 19, 2011 at 5:55 p.m.
TERRORALERT said...

WALL STREET PROTESTS...NOT ANTI WALL-STREET AT ALL, BUT INSTEAD RACIALLY MOTIVATED VIOLENCE AGAINST WHITES KNOWN AS WELL UNDER ZIONIST "TRANSFER OF OWNERSHIP" FROM HANDS OF WHITE AMERICANS TO SO CALLED "MINORITIES"(COMMUNISM) http://multiculturalismisterrorism.blogspot.com/

THIS NEWS IS RELATED TO "WHITES AREN’T WELCOME IN AMERICA ANY LONGER" !!! http://www.youtube.com/user/BostjanAvsec <== OBAMA'S HEALTH CARE RECORDED LIVE IN 2009. Facts about lunatic ZIONIST Obama/Bush's twilight zone administrations(HORROR) or genocide against white population.

VISIT "MULTICULTURALISM = TERRORISM & OBAMA = OSAMA" http://stateofterror.blogspot.com/

OR

“OBAMA = STALIN = BUSH or USA = SOVIET UNION” http://avsecbostjan.blogspot.com/ FROM 911 TO AMERICAN WHITE REFUGEES FILLING ASYLUM ABROAD RIGHT NOW !!! LEARN TRUTH PER WHO, HOW, AND WHY HAVE RUINED YOU...

October 19, 2011 at 5:57 p.m.
Haiku said...

Encourage the fathers to return to the picture. They were run out of the picture over thirty plus years ago, then systematicallyu placed in prisons and jails all across America. The women were told they'd be cared for as long as there was no man in the picture. No matter how many babies they had and no matter how many different fathers those babies had. Since incentives were used to entice and seduce the women into believing fathers weren't needed, now is the time to use incentives rather than punichment to encourage the men to return. About 98% of your problems will be solved. The remainder %*age will be solved when these communities stop allowing others to exploit them to line their own pockets and live in pristine neighborhoods none from these communities would be allowed to enter and mow the lawns.

October 19, 2011 at 6:23 p.m.
please login to post a comment

videos »         

photos »         

e-edition »

advertisement
advertisement
400 East 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
General Information (423) 756-6900
Copyright, Permissions, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Ethics policy - Copyright ©2014, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.