Thursday, July 17 2014, 01:16 PM EDT
SENIORS FIGHT BACK: Eastgate Senior Center Members Protest At City Hall
Chattanooga City Hall is at the center of a silent protest.
Tuesday night, the audience was adorned in green as dozens of local seniors stood united in-front of city government.
The whole controversy is surrounding the Eastgate Senior Center. For years the City of Chattanooga has been allowed to operate the center free of rent. But recently, new mall management told them they needed to pay fifteen thousand dollars or move. Now, senior center members are taking their concerns to the people that represent them, City Council.
"I don't feel we are being treated fairly. I don't feel we are being recognized. I don't think they think we have value. We are individuals. We are human beings," said members Evlina Badger.
City officials say for now, they may have to move because of the new management's financial demands and noise complaints coming from the center.
"Plus the proposal they sent us on June 4th led us to believe that they didn't necessarily really want us there. So if they do, that's something we can definitely discuss with them," said Brent Goldberg with the City of Chattanooga.
One by one, members of the center took to the podium in hopes that their concerns would be heard.
"It seems like they are just throwing us to the side. They don't really care about us and that's my opinion," said member Joseph Gibson.
But city officials say they are working on a solution. Goldberg says for now the center would relocate to the Brainerd Youth and Family development center. But that news didn't sit well with members.
"Being in a community center with children running everywhere doesn't work for alot of us. We have a lot of people that have nerve problems, that are depressed, they are on medication, they may go off," said member Connie Griggs.
The lease expires July 31st.