Lubbock City Councilman Floyd Price didn't beat around the bush. "This is a gripe session," he said.
A gripe session. Over 30 east Lubbock residents, three elected officials, and the assistant police chief. "A lot of legitimate concerns," said Mayor Marc McDougal, hearing three basic concerns. "Code enforcement, weeds, and police protection," he said.
Public image is gripe number one. With vacant lots as eyesores, and a reputation for being the bad part of town. "East Lubbock, for some reason, there's this perception it's crime ridden," said Assistant Chief Thomas Esparza. "We don't have a whole lot of crime in east Lubbock," said Councilman Floyd Price.
"They shot at me seven times," said Buford Wiley. The owner of a popular east Lubbock Bar-B-Que, he was held up in his own home last April. "One of the bullets hit my leg and several hit the wall and so forth," he said. So far, no arrests, but there is work towards change.
A recent bond election approved funds for a police sub-station within Patterson library. "A pilot program , a police substation that will be housed right here in this facility at Patterson library. Hopefully, a prototype that we can do throughout the city," said McDougal.
Steps of empowerment, sustaining hope, even for Buford Wiley. "Oh yeah, I'm positive about what we're doing. We get some of these crime issues solved and we should be in much better shape," he said.