PALESTINE, Texas (KLTV) - Tonight, the Palestine city council held a public hearing in regards to the city’s athletic complex being suddenly closed last week.
This was the first time the community was able to speak with council about the matter.
Community members who attended the meeting addressed concerns and frustrations with city council.
“I feel like y’all, as employees, could’ve reached out to us and said could y’all help us?” said Chris Holman, the commissioner of the Palestine Youth Athletic Association.
“Everyone of y’all are supposed to be here to fight for us,” said Jennifer Willard, a parent. “We vote for y’all because we know we believe in you guys; we believe you’ll fight for us.”
“Parks are for my family, these kids, everyone in the community to come out and enjoy,” said Christopher Russell, a parent. “It’s not to bring in money. We can’t have that mindset that the park is supposed to bring in money.”
Many of tonight’s testimonies were emotional.
“I have a couple of titles in my life I’m proud of; husband, father, coach is my third highest titled,” said Holman. “I love what I do and I love mentoring these kids.”
“You all know, there’s barely anything to do in this town for kids as it is,” said Dr. RoJon Grogans, a surgeon in town and a coach. “You take that complex away from 650 kids, I don’t know how you sleep at night.”
“This is important to us, y’all have to understand that,” said Barbara Dockweiler, a parent. “It might not be important to y’all in your budget, but this is important to our city, this is important to our children. Our children are our future.”
Although the community asked many questions, council members were unable to answer due to the pending lawsuit surrounding the park.
The city manager did say that because the park is tied to the pending litigation, they can’t make any modifications to it.
The interim city attorney said at the meeting that a tentative trial date for the litigation is set for around one year from now.