Chattanooga City Council questions new Coolidge Park ordinance

Chattanooga City Council questions new Coolidge Park ordinance

March 22nd, 2011 by Cliff Hightower in News

Councilman Russell Gilbert

Chattanooga Councilman Russell Gilbert told the City Council today he would not support an ordinance making it illegal for children to be in Coolidge Park unless the law extended to all parts of the city.

"I really have a problem with what we're doing right now," he said. "If we're going to do it, do it for all areas, not just here."

The council is set to vote on first reading tonight an ordinance that would require adult supervision in Coolidge Park after a shooting incident Saturday night during a flash mob incident involving more than 300 people. No one was injured, but a similar incident almost exactly a year ago ended up in five people being shot, although none of the injuries was life-threatening.

Council members said they would like some more specifics in the ordinance by the time it comes to council next week for second reading.

The issues include changing proposed signs at the park that say children must have "adult" supervision to saying they must have parent or guardian supervision.

Other concerns include having a game plan for where children would be placed when Chattanooga police are looking for their parents and extending the law across the city instead of limiting it to one park.

Contact Cliff Hightower at chightower@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6480. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/CliffHightower.