A stretch of Roden Lane will soon have some new street signs: Anderson Lane.
Gladewater City Council members unanimously rechristened a portion of the roadway Sept. 21 in honor of community leader and Mayor Pro Tem Elijah “Sonny” Anderson.
“A good, faithful resident and hard worker for the city,” council member Rocky Hawkins said. “His heart’s always in the right place.”
The change will impact the length of Roden Lane between Miller Street and the loop.
Before the vote during their regular Thursday evening session last week, the council heard from five locals in a requisite public hearing on the agenda item, including a handful of Roden Lane residents along with well-wishers for the longtime councilman.
“I’m for it,” said Shalandria Timmons. “Mr. Sonny is the nicest person in the world to me. He saved my grandmother’s life some years back. I’m all for it.”
In a letter outlining the prospect, Gladewater City Clerk Judy Van Houten noted upon approval “it will be the responsibility of each property owner to update your address accordingly. This includes but is not limited to: the US Post Office, all taxing entities, the posted number on your structure and/or mail receptacle, and anyone else from whom you receive mail at your Roden Lane address.”
Odell Cooper was concerned about the paperwork and costs involved.
“On changing our address, I disagree with it because we got to change all our addresses, we got to change everything – driver’s license, all this stuff – and the city said they weren’t going to be responsible for that. I don’t think it’s fair. That’s all I got to say about that.”
Neighbor Mike Vazquez was enthusiastic about the change.
“I’m in favor of it. I feel if you guys want to honor Mr. Sonny for all his work in the community and all his years here, a simple address change is not a big deal when you go through the post office,” he said. “Yes, there is a small cost. On that part, I agree with Mr. Odell. We need to work something out with DPS and such. Other than that, I’m in favor of it.”
Stacy Price says he’s still new to the city after almost three years living here, but he’s known Anderson for more than a decade.
“I’ve never known a person to give the way that Sonny gives,” he told the council. “I support it. I couldn’t think of it happening to a better person.”
Following the public hearing, council member Kevin Clark noted residents can update their addresses online at Texas.gov for $11 the next time they renew their licenses.
That said, “It’s not something we do lightly at all, because we do know it is an imposition to people to have to change their address and all their contacts,” Mayor Scott Owens noted. “It’s something that’s been brought forth to honor Sonny Anderson for his years of work in the community, not just the city.”
After learning residents can put off some address changes until they renew their IDs, council member Brandy Flanagan echoed her colleagues’ support: “Everyone knows how much I respect Sonny.”
Ultimately, Teddy Sorrells made the council’s motion.
“Sonny Anderson is by far one of the bulwarks of our community,” he said. “I have never known anybody to say a negative word about him – can’t say that about myself.
“It would be an honor and privilege to recommend changing the name of that street to Anderson Lane.”
With one councilman absent Sept. 21, the motion passed 5-0 with Anderson abstaining.
“I want you to know I really appreciate this,” he said afterward. “I just truly thank everybody for coming and accepting this. It is an honor to me.”
With the successful vote, Owens noted there will be a slight delay for the change to take effect – City Hall will have to coordinate an update to 911 addressing and other necessities in addition to ordering new signage.
“Our city clerk will notify everybody when it officially takes over.”