New roof for local lady
West Memphis mayoral candidates fostering good will with good deeds
Jean Toller was all smiles last Tuesday as she received a gift of a new roof.
Toller had been disappointed the last two years after having her applications for West Memphis Community Development Block Grant passed over to repair her home at 528 North 28th Street.
“It rains in the kitchen and living room,” said Toller.
After not receiving help from the city in 2017, Toller asked City Councilman Wayne Croom to walk her 2018 application through the community development office. Croom agreed but became dismayed when her new application was again accepted but work went unapproved.
“The city made like they sent out a man, said they inspected the roof, and said I didn’t need it and they had no funds,” said Toller.
“But nobody came to look at my roof.”
Toller asked Croom to advocate for her roofing need after seeing his name in the paper as an elected official.
Croom looked at the house and noted the obvious water damage and followed up on the application process.
“She got accepted twice and overlooked twice,” said Croom. “She and I talked about her roof for eight months. I can’t understand how someone with such an obvious need could be turned down two years in a row and have other first time applicants approved.
If someone goes about things in the right way and continues to meet obstacles, then I am going to help them.”
That is when Croom got busy. He began telling friends about the need for a new roof at the Toller residence. He raised $2,000 in private donations and contracted for a reroofing job.
Toller expressed gratitude to Croom as roofers laid down the new shingles.
“It’s a good thing to try and help somebody that needs help,” said Toller.
“I’m thankful for all this.”
Across town, another mayoral candidate, businessman Fred Leonard was performing a good deed of his own, donating a parcel of child safety kits to the West Memphis Police Department.
“Thank you, Mr. Leonard for donating these child safety kits,” said WMPD Community Outreach Coordinator Tawana Bailey.
“They will be a great help.” It’s not unusual to see candidates making the rounds during election season, and it’s likely the community hasn’t seen the last of these
gentlemen and other candidates doing positive things in the city.
By John Rech