We began our July meeting at 6 pm with a little time for snacksand socializing before getting started with speakers at about 6:30. Special thanks go to Demetrius Boyland for preparing sandwiches for the evening!
We were excited to start off with a visit from Reginald Milton, our County Commissioner for District 10. Mr. Milton stopped by to give us some updates including information on a new source of funding for neighborhood development. The County Commission has just voted to allocate funds throughout Shelby County to different projects that could help improve communities; the idea for these funds is to find projects and/or local non-profits that will help improve the quality of life in many of our neighborhoods. Mr. Milton suggested using some of the money for our district on a project that would bring new speed bumps and caution lights to the intersection of Cooper and Young. Many of us have seen how people speed through our neighborhood and the hope is that these measures would help slow the traffic near our main intersection. One attendee suggested also putting speed bumps and caution lights at the intersection of Oliver and Cooper near Celtic Crossing. Another suggested adding crosswalks across Cooper and a third suggested looking at ways to improve our sidewalks throughout the neighborhood. Mr. Milton was happy to hear all of these suggestions and encouraged all of us to reach out to him at firstname.lastname@example.org or (901) 222-1000 if we have any other great ideas for these funds.
Next we were joined by Patricia Belt of the Tennessee Safety Spotters. Patricia is resident of Cooper Young and began working with her unique service dogs several years ago when her son rescued a deaf dalmatian from the side of the road. Because the American Kennal Club mandates that all deaf dalmatians be put down by breeders, these dogs are often difficult to save and care for but Patricia says that they make excellent service dogs. She has certainly proved her point, training her dogs to teach kids with disabilities fire safety, improved confidence in reading, and how to deal with bullies. Her dogs have also been wonderful in assisting disabled veterans and visiting children at St. Jude. We were lucky enough to see one of her dogs, Izzy, in action. Patricia showed us how she trained Izzy to watch for hand motions instead of vocal cues and had Izzy demonstrate crawling low-a technique used to teach kids how to stay low in a fire. For more information on Tennessee Safety Spotters you can visit Patricia’s website here or check her out on Facebook. If you’re interested in training a therapy dog, Patricia suggested taking a look at Therapy Dogs Incorporated (website here) for more information.
Finally, we were also joined by John Cornes, a candidate for our upcoming City Council election. John described himself as an “advocate for the community, not a politician” and has experience working as an accountant for the past 15 years. He is also very involved in local education. For more information on this candidate, you can visit his website cornes4citycouncil.com.
Unfortunately, our speaker from Methodist Hospital was unable to make the meeting due to a personal emergency. We would like to thank everyone who came out and made this another great community meeting. Next month we will not have a regular get-together but we will have festivities for National Night Out and we are also planning a special meeting later in the month to talk about how to start composting. We hope to see you all again for our next community meeting on September 8th!