Cabbages and Kings: Time to discard attitudes about trash

Hey Mohave County – listen up.

A kind reader (I'd use his name, but he didn't give me permission) sent me a clipping from another newspaper about what once city does to get property owners to clean up their act(s).

In Syracuse, N.Y., 38 property owners were fined from $150 to $500 for ignoring repeated warnings to tidy up.

The story, off the AP wire, reported that property owners were given 24-hour notices to remove junk from their lots.

One woman complained that she was forced to remove a broken dresser and a couch from the side of her house.

Ah, shucks! Poor woman.

And many of property owners' tossed their raw garbage onto their lots just outside dwellings.

Sound familiar? In these cases, the city cleaned up their lots, then billed the property owners.

That could work here, and judging from the appearance of many properties in Butler, such action would result in a healthier treasury for Mohave County.

That is, if Mohave County REALLY wants to do something about the blight that is taking over our part of the world.

This get-tough enforcement could result in large fines and even jail time for longtime offenders who think the Constitution gives them the right to live in filth – and subject their neighbors to the same filth.

I've heard all kinds of lip service ever since I moved to Kingman 5 and one-half years ago.

It all adds up to little or nothing being done about enhancing the appearance of our community.

The problem is deeper than mere looks, however.

It's attitude.

I am not disputing your right to live like pigs in places where you will not bother anyone else.

And it's OK, I guess, to have trash piled up to the rafters inside your house.

But give us folks who prefer to live like human beings a break.

This attitude spills over onto parking lots, and then, into vacant land near those lots.

It's easy to blame the markets in Kingman for the plastic bags and other trash strewn over lots next door to them.

But really, they are not at fault.

Who is? We are – at least everyone who's taken a six-pack of soda out of the plastic bag in the parking lot of a store and put the cans in an ice chest.

What do you do with the plastic bag? Why toss it into the wind, of course.

And I believe that the problem is not wholly confined to the county area.

The city seems to be taking on a trashier look lately and that's a shame.

I realize we live in a windy high desert area and with such wind comes trash.

But the lazy attitude or worse, the attitude that lulls this community into thinking it's done something to curtail litter when it really hasn't, is as bad as the litter itself.

As news editor of the Miner, I read of a lot of good work on the part of the Clean City Commission.

But a lot more work is needed.

Fines and city or county workers or even jail inmates picking up trash and billing the property owners are good ideas.

If Syracuse can do it with its hundreds of thousands of folks, we certainly can with only about 40,000 in the city and county.

We can't blame the wind and we can't blame our neighbors.

The blame lies with each and every one of us who have thrown a cigarette butt out the window of a car; everyone of us who have let the wind carry their trash into the neighbors' yards.

And it also lies with every one of us who have patted ourselves on the backs and commended ourselves on a good job of fighting litter – when little or nothing has been done at all.

* * *

I have to give a Cabbage this week to the city for taking so-o-o-o long to move on the Airway under/overpass.

I guess we are still in the talking stage – but c'mon: When does the talk produce results in Kingman? How long did it take to build the underpass at the Airport Industrial Park? I'm just asking.

A sparkling, bejeweled crown for Eugene Pendleton, a local resident who recently donated a whopping $2,000 to the Salvation Army to be used in the renovation of the former Kingman Lanes bowling center.

Mr.

Pendleton has long been a writer of letters to the editor of the Miner and while we don't always agree with him, I have to commend him for his large helping of assistance to the "Army."

Greg Bucci is the Miner's news editor.