Wally BryanKentucky New Era Online -- News Article: Former mayor moves to innercity
...HOPKINSVILLE -- When former mayor Wally Bryan left his house on Alumni Avenue last week and moved to a small apartment at the corner of East 18th and McKee streets, he didn't have to travel far.
By car, the distance is 1.3 miles.
But what separates the two neighborhoods -- race, culture, economics and history -- is much greater.And that is why Bryan
moved to Hopkinsville's innercity. "I should have done this a long time ago," said Bryan, 57, who was mayor from 1990 through 1998.
"This is my dream.This is my life now." Bryan
house to one of his
sons and moved to the apartment after months of planning.He
is beginning a personal mission that mirrors many of the improvements sought during his
tenure as mayor.
Early in his
launched the HIT Squad, or Hopkinsville Innercity Transition Squad, which concentrated mainly on removing abandoned and dilapidated houses.The HIT Squad, which received an Award of Excellence from the Kentucky League of Cities
in 1991, also encouraged residents to take more responsibility for their neighborhoods.
new project as a private citizen, Bryan
is working with two organizations -- the Hopkinsville-Christian County YMCA and the Local Development Corp.
is not preparing to run for political office again.After a brief stint as a political science and economics teacher at Hopkinsville
and Christian County high schools, he
now intends to devote himself full time to the innercity. Bryan
plans to eventually buy a house in the innercity and wants to work with various government agencies, businesses and churches to spur economic, spiritual and lifestyle improvements in the city's oldest and poorest neighborhoods.
...James Victor, a board member for LDC, said his agency supports Bryan as well.
is concerned that expectations for results will be too great too soon.It will take months and years to see results, he
goal in the early stages is to listen to residents and build trust and credibility among his
"I think it's endless.The potential is endless.The challenge is huge," he
In many cases, Bryan
could be working to break down a racial barrier.He
is among a small number of whites living in the Durrett Avenue neighborhood.
is encouraging local residents to get involved in his