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Neighbors in Lincoln Park say aide to Chattanooga mayor threatened to pull plug on park

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (Times Free Press) -

Neighbors in Lincoln Park say a top city official threatened that Mayor Andy Berke might pull the plug on an initiative to save their historic park if they don't stop complaining.

Tiffany Rankins, secretary of the Lincoln Park Neighborhood Association, said Chief Operating Officer Jeff Cannon warned in calls and emails that complaints could jeopardize plans to save historic Lincoln Park as the city moves to extend Central Avenue to connect with Riverside Drive.

In a July email response to a request for information by Rankins, Cannon wrote: "I'm sure the mayor will be disappointed that you don't feel he is working with you guys. He is making a lot of enemies as he tries to protect the integrity of Lincoln Park. Finding out that you guys are not satisfied might be the tipping point."

The letter resurfaced Thursday when the Lincoln Park Neighborhood Association filed a complaint with the mayor's office. Residents said they have been left out of making decisions on plans to build the Central Avenue extension and to preserve the park that served the black community during segregation. In its heyday, Lincoln Park included an amusement park, swimming area and a site for Negro League baseball games.

Read more from our news partner the Times Free Press.

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