North Lufkin Controversy

by Larry Little

Friday, in a "state of the city" speech, Lufkin Mayor Jack Gorden talked about how he believes the problems affecting north Lufkin can be solved. "The people in that community -- they really need to come up with a solution," says Mayor Gorden.

Some feel old, rundown houses, neglected buildings, and a lack of businesses in north Lufkin is a city problem. "It should never be a situation where, 'What are they going to do,' or 'What that group is going to do.' It's not 'that group,' it's us. Last Saturday afternoon in Houston, Lufkin was there. It wasn't a north Lufkin or a south Lufkin team, it was a Lufkin Panther team. Everybody was of one accord, and all of a sudden it's, 'What's north Lufkin gonna do?," says Pastor Lonnie Williams.

"I got the impression that the community itself has to be involved," says Gloria Toran.

This evening, Mayor Gorden explained his comments. "Well, I've got to tell you, I have my own ideas about how I would approach changing things in north Lufkin. But I've had people in the community say, 'We will figure this out on our own,' and I'm all for them. It is their community. There are a bunch of good people in north Lufkin," says Mayor Gorden.

"As far as the cleanup around north Lufkin, it's a whole lot better, but it still isn't enough," says Pastor Williams.

"Your city has to be behind you, and I think we can have that," says Toran.

Community leaders are calling on Lufkin pastors to get involved to make north Lufkin a better place to live.