Back in the mid to late 1980s, houses were demolished, and a weir was dug out as a proactive approach to relieve flooding in the area bordered by West Bank, Vanderford and Institute streets. Since that time, the city’s maintenance department has been inconsistent and negligent in maintaining overgrowth in this fenced-in area. This has resulted in environmental health concerns in the form of snakes, rats, groundhogs, raccoons and a host of other pests plaguing our yards and homes.
This is all city property, and code enforcement trucks are seen daily riding through our neighborhood, yet they apparently don’t see the growth, and therefore nothing gets done. It is a challenge each year for residents of the area to contact city maintenance to get something done.
One maintenance department employee asked me, “What do you want that would make you happy about your concerns?” He further explained that he was responsible for maintenance of the larger parks in the city that were used by more residents, and this issue was not a priority. His attitude and lack of concern is indicative of a larger problem with the neglect of some citizens and certain neighborhoods.
Our request is simple:
We should not have to contact the maintenance department every year asking them to do what they are supposed to do. We have a good community in this area, and our concern is to have assistance with the continued beautification and pride the older residents take in our community, as well as concern for the health and welfare of the children who play adjacent to the area.
— Charles Hardin Sr.
Each week folks travel to Raleigh to take part in Moral Monday. They have a voice, and they want to be heard; they need to be heard. The issues set before the General Assembly are difficult, but they will have far reaching impact on many of our poor. I support their endeavors, and as N.C. Sen. Thom Goolsby of Wilimington describes us as “clowns, mostly white, angry, aged former hippies,” I say what a diverse group we are. We all know that diversity helps make the world go round. Finally, the raspberry award goes out to the Mecklenburg County Jail for dismissing 72-year-old Episcopal priest Rev. Jane Holmes. She can no longer serve as a volunteer chaplain at the jail due to her recent arrest at Moral Monday. Shame, shame, shame on you, Mecklenburg County.
— Mark Williams