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Darts and laurels: Open door at courthouse

Laurels to the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office and court officials for working together to finally reopen the front door of the county courthouse. This means very little to people who never have business at the courthouse. But anyone who has tried to visit the Clerk of Court’s office in the past several years knows the frustration this has caused. Those offices are right behind that front door on North Main Street, but the public has had to access them from an entrance farther away because of security concerns. Almost since the terrorists attacks of 2001 heightened fears, the Sheriff’s Office has been screening visitors for guns and other weapons, and it only had the manpower to do that on the new side of the courthouse on Liberty Street. Now the Main Street entrance is accessible, too, but that doesn’t change security concerns. You’ll still be searched for weapons. And forget any notion of carrying in a cellphone. In addition to security, the courts want peace and quiet.
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Dart to the unfortunate situation some residents find themselves in when a neighbor’s house is struck by fire and then sits idle and charred for months and years on end. Spencer resident Clement Radcliff shared his story in Friday’s Post; in this case, town officials want to take action but cannot find the property owner. That is the case more often than you might think. In other instances, property owners promise to make repairs but then drag out the process. And fire is not the only source of eyesores. Remodeling projects that seem never to get finished can be just as bad or worse. A person can complain to the property owner himself, if he can find him, but only government has the power to force improvements by threatening demolition or other action. You hate to see it come to that.
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Laurels to the civic-minded souls who have filed for public office so far this month. Municipalities have town board and city council elections this year, and the Board of Elections has been fairly busy. Twenty-seven people have filed since Monday, and the filing period continues until noon on Friday. Most encouraging has been the big interest in the Salisbury City Council race, which already has 10 candidates for five seats and probably will see more. It’s good to see citizens become more engaged. Still, the Board of Elections should see a lot more action next week, especially from other towns. Landis, East Spencer and China Grove each have only one candidate so far ó James Furr, Titus King and Butch Bivens, respectively ó and Faith has none. This is a chance to serve your community. You have until noon Friday to sign up.

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