Administration still refuses to rename Powell center after Ausberry, Hughey

It’s been two years, but the Mayo Administration still refuses to honor the memory of two community legends with the names approved by the Monroe City Council. In 2015 the Monroe City Council approved the renaming of the Powell Street Community Center to the “Ausberry/Hughey” Center. The change was approved to honor two local men who spent their lives working to improve conditions for African-Americans. Benny J. Ausberry was one of the first Blacks on the City in the 20th Century. He worked to improve conditions for Blacks and specifically targeted closing in ditches on Powell Avenue, Closing of the City Dump in the Black neighborhood, Building of the 165 By Pass Crosswalk and other projects, including the Powell Street Center. Coach James Hughey was an educator who spent his life working to eliminate gang violence. The Powell Street Center and other recreation centers were his bases of operation. Thanks to Hughey’s efforts thousands of boys were diverted from gang membership and the city developed a full recreation program in the centers to deter gang violence in the future. In recognition of those contributions, the city council voted to rename the center in honor of both men. However, relatives of the Ausberry family appeared at a City Council meeting in 2015 and insisted that Ausberry’s name should be the only one on the building. In the aftermath of the Ausberry family opposition, no name has been placed on the building.