Alton residents cry foul over mayor’s order to remove basketball rims

ALTON, IL - Time out being called at an Alton basketball court. The community of the City of Alton is in uproar after neighbors said the mayor took down basketball rims at James Killion Park.

Residents said Mayor Brant Walker ordered the city to take them down recently because he believes too many people were littering and was trying to send a message.

"To be honest I think he is being childish," said longtime resident, Sergio Miller, "like who would really do that about littering?"

Residents said no one received a warning from the city prior to the removal, leaving many neighborhood kids without something to pass the time with.

"This touches my heart," Miller continued, "it hurts me for real because this is where I grew up."

Tuesday several people including residents from nearby Godfrey showed up with signs in protest while some of them said that the mayor is being unfair.

"The mayor made a very snap judgement about trash being related to the kids who play," said Robyne O'mara of Godfrey, "they're busy playing hoops, they're not the ones who are littering."

Neighbors were seen picking up trash saying that they're doing their part to keep the park clean but added that the mayor needs to meet them half way and come up with ways to resolve the problem.

"If the mayor doesn't give us a reasonable solution or progressive solutions to how we are going to take care of this park and bring it up to par with other parks they favor then we will have to continue to strive," said community activist Joshua Young.

Meanwhile those in the community who have taken up the issue with the mayor said that he's told them the rim removal is just temporary.

"In a lot of ways that makes me feel worse because it seems like we are using the children to prove a point that we know isn't going to solve the problem," said Nate Keener.

FOX 2 reached out to Walker but our calls for a comment were not immediately returned.

Meanwhile, Young said, community members who are against the mayor's latest move will be showing up in protest at Wednesday night's regularly scheduled meeting beginning at 6:30 pm.