Athens West Side Neighborhood Association Regroups

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Athens West Side residents filled up the West End Ciderhouse Sunday morning for the West Side Neighborhood Association’s first gathering since 2017.

The Ciderhouse opened early to accommodate the meeting, with coffee and donuts available for those attending.

Attendees spoke out about a number of concerns for safety in the community. Such as potential to improve lighting in the neighborhood at night, police presence in the area, as well as the future of West End Elementary.

West Side resident Kirk Groeneveld was impressed by the meeting’s civility, complimenting the character of those present on Sunday.

“One of the most civil meetings I’ve ever seen,” he said. “It had the potential for going off the rails but it did not. I think that speaks a lot to the character of the people that are here and the tone of the meeting.”

A West Side resident speaks to the group at the West End Ciderhouse.


A number of city officials were among the West Side residents as well. Athens City Councilman Kent Butler, City Auditor Cathy Hecht, and Mayor Steve Patterson were all present. Mayor Patterson saw the meeting as a good first step.

“I think there was a lot of positive productive conversations going on today. A lot of good ideas, a lot more to explore in terms of how we continue to enhance this part of the city,”

The Athens West Side Neighborhood Association plans to keep the meetings going as well. Plans are not set in stone yet, but monthly meetings were the goal coming out of Sunday’s meeting, with plans to focus on specific issues that the city is able to fix in the short term.