"Mayor" of Forest Lawn leaving the neighbourhood
The man known as "The Mayor of Forest Lawn" is fed up and moving out.
For years, Art Sheeler fought crime in his Southeast neighborhood, but he's sick of watching the area fall to hookers, pimps and drugs so he's giving up his fight.
Art Sheeler sits guard over his Forest Lawn neighborhood from his back yard, armed with a phone to call police. "I love this community, I really do, but I'm not going to put up with this crap any longer"
Today he called police after four prostitutes began strolling outside his house at seven o'clock in the morning. One of the women is seven months pregnant and police say she is a prostitute. Police gave her a $250 ticket for loitering. Sheeler says the streetwalkers will be back and that he's had many confrontations with pimps and prostitutes. "They've said 'get out of here old man, we're taking over', this kind of thing."
For nearly forty years, Sheeler has led marches, started petitions and been a thorn in the side of politicians. This year he received a police award for his efforts to get rid of the sex-trade workers, but now he's throwing in the towel. "You know, it gets to a point where you're tired of fighting, you know, I've fought all my life".
Many here say this neighborhood used to be safe.
Police say they've stepped up patrols, but admit it's a complicated issue. They say there is no short term fix.
Sheeler says he will put his house up for sale in the spring, and plans to move to small town Alberta.