Mayor Chuck Charles will have on his walking shoes Saturday.
The first “Walk with the Mayor” will start at 9 a.m. at the intersection of Hampton Street and Ashland Avenue. Anybody interested in walking with him can meet at that time or join in at any other time during the walk, which may cover several miles.
Jay and Lynn Hutchinson, who live on Hampton, will be the ambassadors for the first walk, Charles said.
“You don’t have to live in that neighborhood to walk with us,” he said. “People can come and walk on every one of these walks if they wish.”
His goals are to promote a healthy lifestyle, bring neighbors together and take government to the streets.
Charles has said nothing is off limits on his walks, which will cover several miles. He can keep the pace; he has a regular walking routine with his dog, Remington. He has dropped 50 pounds since regularly walking and checking in on his Fitness Pal app.
Charles grew up on Muncy Street in the Normal neighborhood and he remembers those days fondly.
“We can’t take the old neighborhoods back to exactly what they were, but you can bring back the spirit of it,” he said. “Is it ever going to be the same? No. But at least you can know your neighbor’s name. How many times do we have emergency situations where we need a neighbor’s help?”
The idea of “Walk with the Mayor” came to Charles last summer when he was making daily walks with Remington.
“I knew everybody wouldn’t come to the city building and meet with me, so I thought this was a way I could talk to them on their own turf,” he said.
Charles said he would also like for each neighborhood to take back ownership, from what happens on the streets to cleaning up the streets, yards and common areas.
Other walks are scheduled for May 4 and 18, June 1 and 22, July 13 and 27 and Aug. 10.
MARK MAYNARD can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (606) 326-2648.