City Council Approves Naming Of Jack Benson Heritage Park; Grohn Asked Delay

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The City Council on Tuesday night acted to rename Heritage Park in East Brainerd to Jack Benson Heritage Park to honor the late District 4 City Councilman.

The vote was 8-1 with the current District 4 representative, Larry Grohn, abstaining.

He had asked for a delay, saying proponent, including former Mayor Ron Littlefield, had chosen not to meet with the community. He said Friends of East Brainerd was meeting Jan. 17 and that would be an opportune time for a presentation.

Councilman Grohn said the East Brainerd community was split over the proposal.

At an afternoon council meeting, he distributed a bundle of emails, a number of which were in opposition to the change.

Councilman Chris Anderson made the motion to approve, saying, that Mr. Benson was "one of the finest public servants I have ever known."

Councilman Yusuf Hakeem said those in opposition "may want to do some history and background. There was no advocate for the well-being of District 4."

Councilman Russell Gilbert called Mr. Benson "a great leader who fought for his district."

Councilman Grohn said the first he heard of the idea was a meeting with former Mayor Littlefield last summer. He said he then learned that the former mayor had asked that the issue go before the council on Dec. 6.

He said he asked a deferral at that time.

Councilman Grohn said community members would not have had a chance to attend a meeting during the holidays, but were available now.

 


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