Opinion Piece By Donna Westfall
Shopping carts left all over the city. Graffiti on the walls. Urine smells in our shopping center. Couches left on the sidewalk. Sign icon’s left to rust. Weeds along the 101 corridor.
All of the above and more contribute to making our town ugly, dirty and unsightly. I recall when my 93 year old mother was alive and spent a few weeks in this town she couldn’t wait to get out. “It’s an ugly, dirty town,” she said.
While on the City Council I organized volunteer cleaning crews and starting from the “S” curve, we cleaned and weeded block by block.
Shortly after cleaning up the unsightly parking lot at Rural Human Services, I was villified with a complaint made by former RHS Executive Director, Teri McCune-Ostra, to Council member Kelly Schellong.
Here we were, volunteers. We were cleaning up her mess and she had the gall to complain. That is extremely weird, don’t you think?
Not for this town.
Tuesday’s, July 28th, Board of Supervisors meeting heard multi-year Supervisor 2nd District, Martha McClure, complain about Gitlin’s treatment of Safeway for his agressive persistence in wanting that place cleaned up.
Let’s listen to McClure’s whine:
- “I shop exclusively at Safeway and I’m in Safeway and the Safeway manager comes up to me and says you can’t believe whats happening to me. And talks about I’m loosing sleep at night because I’m being harrassed and I’m afraid I’m going to lose my job. And he said I was raised here. I was born here. I raised my children here, but Safeway corporate doesn’t care. Safeway corporate response is what in the heck did you do to anger somebody, an elected official in your community.
- So to me, it needs to be corrected. And it’s not just a question of having passion (referring to Linda Sutter’s public comment about our multi-year supervisors once having passion for this town and getting things done), cuz I can tell you that I have lots of passion for for this community. And I’m going to continue to have passion for this community. We have over the year, we have taken blight… I mean when I started we didn’t even have a code enforcement officer. You know, we had incrementally made this a better place to live. But the anger, and the agression that we are seeing people receive from citizens, from regular citizens I mean, come on the guy at True Value was harrassed for graffiti on the back of his building.
- He’s been there – he was raised here. Come on – He’s one of our… it’s gone way too far. And so I think that this is a real clear message. And I would like to send that message and I am in favor of supporting Area 1 on Aging because I’ve never seen this. I’ve never seen this on any committee I’ve ever been involved with.”
Let’s call the wambulance.
If we have a code enforcement officer paid to do a job, and at a very decent wage, and part of that job is cleaning up this town, then why isn’t Sup. McClure complaining to Dave Mason, Code Enforcement Officer? (Oh, and by the way, Mason has still not resolved all the buried garbage, toxic waste, old cars, appliances, animals and more at Flying B Ranch, owned by Kevin Hartwick. The complaint was made by two eye witnesses back in January of this year.)
Why does Sup. Gitlin have to be the driving force?
Why isn’t the entire BOS working together to get this dirty, ugly, smelly, unsightly town cleaned up and beautified?
Get off your high horse, McClure. Get on the phone and start calling and organizing graffiti removal crews. We should be more like other towns and have a 24 hour rule. That’s when the graffiti crews go out within 24 hours and paint over any graffiti. Start calling business owners to weed and clean up their areas. Start working cooperatively instead of devisively. If you don’t like the way Gitlin’s persistence and agression is getting the job done; you can take a softer approach and see if it works.
But stop the insane judging for a job well done. And stop your whinning, McClure!