Man claims he was fired as manager after building train for park

A 74-year-old man who has dedicated his life to improving the Heights neighborhood says he was recently fired for building a wooden train
January 29, 2014 4:26:48 PM PST
A popular park attraction for children in the Heights is at the center of controversy right now. It's a wooden train handcrafted by a long-time resident who says he just wanted to give back.

Hayden Krohn may only be 2 years old, but even at this young age, he knows exactly what he wants.

"We drive by and he says, 'Oh the train park, the train park, I want to go to the train park,'" his mother, Julia Krohn, said.

And that's music to the ears of the man who spent four months and $5,000 of his own money to build the wooden train now sitting at Donovan Park.

Paul Carr, 74, served four terms as president of the Houston Heights Association. A tribute to his service was a jogging trail in his name, but it was his latest role as parks manager that got him in trouble.

"They were unhappy because I did not ask for formal permission before I put the train in the park," Carr said.

Carr says he installed the train in December. One month later, he was fired.

In a statement to Eyewitness News, the association says they ended their relationship with Carr after "he often disregarded the board's wishes," and say he lacked respect by his "purposeful concealment of the construction and installation of the train."

"At our ages, my wife and I, we don't need this type of hassle in our lives anymore. We are going to do something else," Carr said.

...Like reading the "thank you" notes given to him by dozens of neighborhood kids who play on the train.

The association says firing Carr was a difficult decision and they enjoyed his service throughout the years. It has decided to keep the train and are looking at ways to make it safer for the kids.

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