Why Is The Berke Administration At War With East Chattanooga? - And Response (2)

Thursday, January 2, 2014

A little background, when I first moved here there was a beautiful house on the corner of Elmendorf and Taylor. The elderly lady who stayed there kept it up and had the most beautiful flowers. It was the prettiest house on Taylor even though its address was 2215 Elmendorf. 

Unfortunately she got put into a home. And while her local family tried to keep it up the responsible party, a grandson in Atlanta, did not.  Eventual the city took it for non-payment of taxes.

Did the city auction it off so some young urban pioneers could make it their dream home just as many have already done in the area? No.  Did the city turn it over to Habitat or some such other organization? No.  

They demolished it without notice over the holidays and ahead of the scheduled time, this weekend (Jan. 4 and 5).

Two other landowners who rent in the area have told me the house could have been saved. One just told me he tried to buy it.  But the contractor moved ahead of schedule.

Yes, I was one of the neighbors who complained about the house not being kept up. But we wanted someone to take ownership of the house and give the grand old lady the TLC she deserved.

This coupled with the rumors that the Berke Administration is not working with the group that is trying to revitalize the Glass Street area is disturbing. I guess Main Street and Highland Park should count their lucky stars they had the support of the Littlefield Administration. 

Looks like the rebirth of Classic East Chattanooga won't get the same support.

R.W. Young

Property Owner in East Chattanooga 

* * *

This practice didn't start with the Berke administration. It all started with certain cliques in neighborhoods banning together and making noise, filing complaints against targeted long time neighbors they wanted removed from the neighborhood. They complained in numbers and groups, because they'd been told their complaints would gain more volume. Long time homeowners would have no defense. 

The scheme was to get the property condemned so one of their own could take it over on the cheap. It was gentrification (weed 'n seed), under the guise and false pretense of revitalizing, with a more sinister twist. It's what my  buddy from another country came to realize and took action against, only for he and his family to feel the need to leave the city after receiving threats when he filed a federal complaint to get have the practice investigated. 

There's an old Chinese proverb that goes something like: When you dig one hole, dig two. One for your intended victim and another for yourself. I'd like to add to that proverb and say maybe you should dig a whole graveyard. Because lots of people are going to fall in and not just the intended target either.  

My question is, instead of complaining why didn't these "concerned citizens" just roll up their sleeves in an effort to help keep the property up themselves, pool their resources and buy the house? Wouldn't that have been a more humane and neighborly step to take?  

Berke administration at war? Nope. These folks are at war themselves and they don't even realize it.

Brenda Manghane-Washington

* * *

Cause this is where all the gangbangers are. It's gentrification, Mr. Young.

I grew up in East Chattanooga. I'm 71 years old. East Chattanooga was all white back then. Now it's mostly all black, and crime is rampant.

That's the reason the Berke administration is at war with East Chattanooga.

Donald Woods


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