Commissioner candidates on Hamlet issues

Elise Preston
NewsChannel 10

AMARILLO, TX - Amarillo city commissioner number four candidates address dangerous traffic and criminal activity issues many Hamlet residents say plague their neighborhood near Hamlet elementary school and park.

Candidate Fransetta Crow says the city needs to boost resources in the area and build a stronger partnership between the city and community residents.

"This is something that would have be an ongoing and overall culmination of the whole community to come together. If we don't bring everybody to the table then we won't have everybody in favor of the change." said Crow.

Candidate Johnny Johnson agrees the community effort is needed, but says part of the problem in Hamlet is a lack of representation to tackle resident's concerns. He says single member districts would help the ongoing safety issues in Hamlet.

"If you live in a neighborhood you know what's going on.  You know if there are youth gathering in a bad spot or trouble.  There is closer representation at city hall." said Johnson.

Candidate and current commissioner Jim Simms says, single member districts would not help the problems in Hamlet because instead of residents being represented by the current five members of the commission they would be only represented by two.

Simms says the safety of any resident anywhere is a priority of the city...he feels the best way to keep crime and other safety issues down in hamlet, is through neighborhood control.

"We aren't asking them to fight crime or take guns away from people with guns, but they can observe and get license numbers. There is a lot they can do without putting themselves in harms way." said Simms.

Simms also urges residents to express concerns to both the police and city commission.