By Lauren Eissler
For the Gazette
JAMESTOWN — Community issues were brought to the forefront at Monday’s Jamestown village council meeting.
Annetta Crosswhite, who is the head of the Jamestown parks board, spoke about her experiences with the park and the community. She said she wanted to know how the council feels about the park — because she said it feels like the council has abandoned the park.
Crosswhite cited the work she’s done in getting grants to improve the park, saying that it feels like they’ve been ignored by the council and the community. And she requested a meeting with the mayor and chief of police to discuss other concerns she had that she didn’t want to address in public.
Jamestown Mayor Jerrod Pickens said in an interview that he’s thinking about ways council can be more involved with the park next year, but that it was hard this year because of Jamestown’s bicentennial.
Later in the council meeting, Crosswhite’s sister, Anita, addressed the council about issues she was seeing in the village. Anita Crosswhite said she was very concerned about the village, especially the young people. She said they need to learn about unity in the community.
Anita Crosswhite talked about young people destroying things in the community, particularly political signs from people’s yards.
“What I see now, there is tragedy here,” she said. “There’s kids that don’t understand. They think it’s cute with Trump and whoever it is, and it’s not cute. And it’s going to cause trouble, and it’s going to destroy things. They got to learn it’s an election.”
Anita Crosswhite said that these young people are allegedly going out at night and tearing up political signs supporting Hillary Clinton. What’s going on in Jamestown is bad, she said, and she called on the mayor and council to talk to the people.
“Jamestown better wake up and better come together, or we’re gonna fall,” she said. “I’m not going to stand and watch Jamestown go down the tube.”
Pickens said there are some teenagers and almost teenagers going around doing some menacing. Pickens said the police has caught a lot of them, but they do have a lot of repeat offenders and society makes it hard.
“The kids watch TV and see what’s going on in the news and everything else and jump on the bandwagon,” Pickens said.
And Pickens said that it’s not just Hillary Clinton signs that were affected.
“According to the chief, it was both sides,” Pickens said. “It wasn’t just Hillary or all Trump, it was both sides. Some flags were messed with as well.”
And they’re planning on keeping an eye on the campaign sign situation and, if they have to, make an example, Pickens said.
But the biggest problem is that the vandalism isn’t being reported.
“You’ve got to catch them, that’s the thing,” Pickens said. When people have vandalism or something, they need to report it. That’s the biggest problem, because we find out a week later that something’s happened and then they expect you to do something about it.”
And what can the community do about this?
Pickens said that anyone who sees someone tampering with campaign signs or anything else should notify the authorities.
Lauren Eissler is a freelance writer for the Xenia Daily Gazette.