Every Thursday the garbage trucks make their rounds to pick up our trash in my neighborhood. If you are parked on the street you are automatically given a $7 ticket. Behind the garbage truck comes the street sweeper and then the city inspector to hand out warnings and maybe even tickets if your lawn is too tall or if you are hoarding in plain view. For those stubborn residents, the city will send someone to cut your lawn and charge you five times more for the trim than you would have paid had you broken a twenty and paid the neighbor's kid to do it.
So it leads me to wonder, how can the city be so arrogant to knock on our doors and demand cleanliness and organization when the most public place in the city, the pond near the Ford Community Center reminds me of the Florida Everglades? Weeds are growing so tall that the ducks don't even bother to swim there anymore. Because of the recent rain, the water is starting to seep onto the grass that surround it. Any small child can wander into it and drown without notice as the weeds have overtaken most of the area.
I realize that the city has been suffering through the economic crisis just like the rest of the country and I (we) sympathize with the Mayor for his burden of trying to bring the city back to a balanced budget. But, our city has always prided itself on its beauty and maintaining historical monuments and landmarks.
Just recently, an article came out about how the city spent 2 million dollars improving our schools during the summer and what I call a "secret vote" was taken to leave our historical city hall and relocate to the ADP building. A cost I believe, of well over 3 million dollars.
Yet, along with the Pond being completely neglected, the Centennial Library Fountain, a place that many have spent an evening with their ice creams and donuts and coffee has been sitting bare for the entire summer. Passing it everyday and seeing it collecting dust from the wind makes you wonder if by the community being silent has misled the council to believe that we don't care.
I am here to tell you them that we do. Just like the Ford Motor Company and the Henry Ford Museum the Fountain is a historical and appreciated monument that reminds us everyday of how lucky we are to live in a place such as ours.
The city plans to demolish the Fountain and replace it with something more manageable. Something smaller.
Is this what "we" the residents want? Has the city asked our opinion? Have they placed it on the ballot for vote to see if the residents are willing to help with its maintenance? I am not too familiar with the facts and figures but I do know that property taxes are pretty high so you have to wonder if parks, athletic programs and other beneficial services have been cut off is there only money left to build a new office for the Mayor?
Of course, the economy has become a strain on us all and maybe some people feel that these things are not important but I don't agree. I travel around the city by foot and cycle and I see how we have lost so much. Our neighborhood parks are bare. Children really have no where to go anymore. And if there is a park to go to such as Levagood its been my understanding that "free play" has been restricted to certain areas.
Its time for the community to come together and to get more involved, may it be through volunteer work, raising money or a simple thing like voting. If we don't, every thing we have taken for granted all these years will become a distant memory and sea of regrets.
Rest in Peace Orville Hubbard and Michael Guido.