East Texas Neighborhood Pleased With Town Hall Meeting

Residents of an East Texas neighborhood says it's time to take their community back, by stopping crime in it's tracks. Last night, residents of Southwest Tyler met with local leaders and police to discuss ways to stop criminal activity. Over the past month, the community has had six reported shootings.

More than a hundred people showed up for last night's town hall meeting. A turnout residents say they are pleased with.

"I think it was very productive," said Kenny Green, who attended the meeting. "I like it, and I hope we have some more of them." Green has lived in his home since he was seven years old.   Last night, he voiced his concerns.

"I'm tired of looking at these woman walking up and down the streets selling their bodies," said Green. "I'm tired of this crack around here. I am sick of it." Paula Goss also told city officials what she's worried about.

"I have a problem with the amount of sex offenders that live in our community," said Goss.  "I have a problem with the fact that we don't have enough lighting. We want more lighting." Councilman Donald Sanders says his next step is to develop a plan of action.

"Something that we can all pull together and support," said Councilman Donald Sanders, District 2. "We want the cooperation of everybody in the community and in the city." That means bringing more jobs into the community and taking care of the abandoned homes.

"We're talking about our low income houses," said Sanders. "We spoke about houses that were not on city, sewage hook up. We are working with the city on that." Most importantly, residents say they hope last night's meeting will inspire everyone to get involved.

"A lot more participation," said Goss.  "Grandparents, parents anyone that is concerned."

"I think if we work together we can solve some of these problems that we are having," said Betty Street, who attended meeting. These residents say they are ready to do just that.

Councilman Sanders says he plans on meeting with city leaders next week to develop a plan of action. When that happens, he says there will be another town hall meeting to inform the neighborhood on the changes that will take place.

Molly Reuter, reporting. mreuter@kltv.com