Pensacola City Councilwoman Jewel Cannada-Wynn met with her District 7 constituents Wednesday at Fricker Resource Center to primarily discuss what should be done about the troubled Morris Court playground, but the city’s stormwater construction also came up.
Residents complain about unsupervised youth in the park fighting, shooting guns, using drugs,breaking into nearby homes and businesses and a rash of other bad behavior.
Cannada-Wynn said the park has “outlived its usefullness.”
Anita Powell, who lives across from the playground, said she has called police many times.
“It’s dangerous,” she said. “You never know when gun fire is going to come out. I call the city police office over and over and over again.”
Escambia County Commissioner Lumon May has told Inweekly that he does not support adding more low-income housing in Morris Court. Other communities have done away with large housing projects. He suggested Area Housing invest in better lighting and secure the playground, which is next to Morris Court administrative building, after hours.
Councilwoman Cannada-Wynn reluctantly allowed Dr. Gloria Horning and other Tanyard residents to speak after gathering input from a handful of residents who live in Morris Court, but it wasn’t without a struggle.
Horning interrupted the meeting at the end and refused a command by Cannada-Wynn to sit down. She said Tanyard residents’ health is at risk from contaminants from an old Escambia County mosquito control facility and from the large holes dug for stormwater that lack fencing.
“No one asked Tanyard residents when Corrine Jones Park was torn out,” Horning said. “Our kids are still there. They’re just playing in the street. They’re playing in a hazardous situation. But no one is asking them what they want or what they need. I hope all the city councilmembers and all the county commissioners come listen to us.”
Horning pointed at Cannada-Wynn and shouted angrily: “Not once have you gone to ask (residents) what they want to see in their neighborhood. You haven’t answered one of my emails.”
Marilyn Wiggins, the Tanyard Neighborhood Association president and 40-year resident of the area, said many of her neighbors are angry about how the city is conducting the project after a four-month delay
“Our children are playing in a toxic area,” Wiggins said. “You don’t want to wake up Sunday morning to all those trucks. The city needs to consider what it’s doing because people are living there.”