JACK SIMPSON: All citizens should contribute to safe, clean community

I do not know how you feel about it, but I like to think my community is occupied by law-abiding individuals and that it is a good place to live. I like it when people are friendly, respect one another, and share an interest in a clean community. It is good to feel that the streets are safe and there is a sense of pride about residing here. We do not need to go about defaming one another or neglecting the infrastructure early settlers built in the county.

That is why it surprises some of us to see litter along the right of way, junk cars, old tires and trash piled in yards, not to mention potholes in the roads. Crime and vandalism are on the rise.

Why can’t things like this be corrected? Can’t our roads be maintained? Is it neglect or financial? What is happening to community pride? Should we re-evaluate our priorities? Surely each of us wants a safe, secure and clean community. It benefits all of us when we have an acceptable place to live. It is good to feel safe in our homes.

Many motorists find it a challenge riding some of our roads. They try to remember where there lurks a pothole that may tear up a tire or jar the head and neck. Playing dodge-the-pothole can be dangerous and expensive.

When you think about it, the community has grown and roads are carrying more and more traffic such as school buses, logging trucks, business vehicles, commuters, etc. The roads are being damaged and sooner or later must be repaired or repaved. Neglect leads only to more and more potholes. Ugly roads bring ugly rights of way. Trash, uncut grass, uprooted trees and a nice county slowly becomes a neglected mess — and a safe, clean community becomes a thing of the past. People flee from such an area and seek their fortunes elsewhere. Can you blame them?

It is up to those who call this place home to work together, make needed sacrifices and build the kind of place everyone can share pride in. It can be done. Dirty, neglected areas attract criminals, drug peddlers and not the kind of residents needed for a clean, safe county. Make your own contribution. Do something to help in maintaining our security and well being. Adopt a road. Clean up the trash. Encourage our elected officials to fix the potholes and cut the rights of way on a regular schedule. Discourage law breakers from hanging out in your hometown. Get a neighborhood watch and stick together with neighbors to report suspicious people to your local law enforcement authorities.

Be considerate of your fellow residents, some are old and unable to do cleanup chores on their own. Have compassion. Show respect for self and others. When change is needed, vote for it!

Jack Simpson is a former educator, a veteran, an author and a law enforcement officer. His column appears each Friday.