Updated at 3:32 p.m. on Tuesday, July 25:
Sharp and other young people from South Cobb have collected a little more than 1,000 signatures for their petition to the county commissioners, specifically South Cobb Commissioner Woody Thompson, to prevent the from closing by
Thompson will meet with the young people at 4 p.m. before they congregate in the Board of Commissioners meeting room to participate in the public hearing that precedes the board's meeting.
Jordan Sharp, a 17-year-old Pebblebrook High graduate headed to Spelman College this fall, has taken the initiative to create a petition for South Cobb residents who support the millage rate increase.
For most of her life, Jordan has played or participated in activities at the South Cobb Recreation Center and neighboring Michael A. Grant Boys & Girls Club. Now, she volunteers her time there.
She said she wants people to support the millage rate increase to help prevent further service or program cuts, including those at the South Cobb Recreation Center.
Jordan has about 500 signatures and counting. She said she decided to begin the petition because "I want to have something to go back to, to give back to."
She will present the petition to South Cobb Commissioner Woody Thompson at the final public hearing on the issue at 7 p.m. on Tuesday before the commissioners cast their votes.
Here’s a letter she recently emailed to South Cobb Patch regarding this issue:
On Tuesday (tomorrow), our Cobb County Commissioner Woody Thompson will either be voting for or against the closing of our recreation center, which serves as a refuge for many of the youths in this area. While the Six Flags Drive part of Cobb County doesn't always give off the best reputation of a positive and thriving environment, the South Cobb Recreation Center always does. It is at this recreation center, and even the neighboring aquatic center and Michael A. Grant Boys and Girls' Club, that many of the local youths find a comfortable and safe environment to be themselves and denote positive energy into an environment that, for some, literally "parents" them. This recreation center is a home to children without parents who genuinely care and love them or even to those who have parents with constant shifts at work that prevent quality time to be spent with their children. In other words, our recreation center is more than a place for open gym basketball or regular cheerleading practice, but rather that of a place which caters to our childhoods and adolescent innocence; it is a place for many of us to call "home."
With all of that to say, after speaking with Mr. Leslie Walker, the director of the recreation center, I took it upon myself to do what so desperately needed to be done. I immediately went home, prayed about the situation, and began making flyers and petitions to prevent the closing of the recreation center. I spoke at the Town Hall meeting on behalf of the youth in the area and also participated in the COZ meeting on that following Thursday. Along with eight other youths, I posted the petitions and flyers in the Boys and Girls' Club, the recreation center, the aquatic center, took them to local businesses and churches, and even stood outside of the local Kmart shopping center for our hours upon hours, collecting signatures to support the fight for our recreation center.
While the vote takes place tomorrow and we still have yet to hear a response from the Commissioner about a private meeting scheduled with him between us youths and himself, we will still be presenting the petitions to him on tomorrow before the vote takes place.
We, as youth, know that budget shortfalls are somewhat of a "trend" circulating in the present day economy but after becoming aware of the possible closing of our most vital services, we recognized another on our own: the neglect of children’s futures.