ANDERSON — There was confusion during Thursday’s Anderson City Council meeting regarding a request to rename a portion of Nelle Street in honor of long-term community activist Mack Reese.
The Jackson Park Group initially made the request in March to have two blocks of Nelle Street, between 20th and 23rd streets, named to honor Reese.
The two blocks are located east of Anderson Zion Baptist Church. Directly in front of the church is the Rev. JT Menifee Street, which was renamed from Louise Street by former Mayor Kris Ockomon in 2008.
Robert McCullough said during Thursday’s council meeting that he had one question for Anderson Mayor Kevin Smith: Why hasn’t the name been changed?
Councilman Ty Bibbs then presented a letter dated May 6 from the U.S. Postal Service. The letter stated that Nelle Street had already been renamed Reese Road.
The letter came as a surprise to officials with the Smith administration.
Terri Sawyer, supervisor of the Anderson post office, said Monday the letter resulted from a misunderstanding.
When asked who told her the street name was changed, Sawyer declined to comment.
“It has to be changed by the city,” Sawyer said. “There is a process to follow.”
A copy of the letter from the post office was delivered to the Anderson city clerk’s office by McCullough. He said the requested name change was for an area where Zion Baptist Church is located on both sides of the street.
There are about 10 houses along the three-block stretch of Nelle Street.
“Ninety percent of the public won’t drive down that street,” McCullough said. “Mack Reese served the community, the church and the youth of the city.”
McCullough asked why there was a delay in renaming the street.
“Is it my face?” asked McCullough, who is black. “Or is it a lack of respect of the people who live there?”