News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Our people are numb to the spread of blight

Look at City Hall and you will see why some portions of our neighborhoods are shameful. Decatur City Hall doesn't have the will to address the same problems that make other cities vibrant.

City Hall is full of excuses about why it won't clean up the blight like that shown in Sunday's Daily. Listen to some of the excuses: There's not an ordinance.... City inspectors can't go on private property... City Hall can't tell people how many cars they may own or how many people may live in a residence.

It doesn't take a genius to determine that some vehicles are not driven or that they have flat tires or no license plate.

One resident expressed pretty much the prevailing sentiment at City Hall, which is that the city can't legislate neighborhood pride or enforce ordinances to correct blight.

Sure it can. But this administration isn't all to blame; those in the past found ways to ignore the deterioration, too. They allowed dilapidated buildings to stand, too.

City Hall and the local Chamber of Commerce are working hard to entice families coming to Huntsville as part of Base Realignment and Closure to live in Decatur. Yet, one of the major routes to Point Mallard Park needs attention.

City bureaucrats say it takes money to enforce ordinances. So what? What about the money Decatur loses when people decide to live in Madison or East Limestone County instead of here?

The Sunday article reflects a numbing of the senses in Decatur. We've lived with this lax attention so long some of us don't see our city clearly. Cities begin to decay from within because of the attention given to urban sprawl and for things new.

We can do better. Let's encourage this administration to be the one that has no tolerance for blight.

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