News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion
FRIDAY, APRIL 27, 2007


Citizen reaction to new feature a cry for help

Daily readers reacted quickly to the “Hiding in plain sight” feature that began April 19. The response is an overwhelming cry for help in cleaning up their neighborhoods.

We named the feature “Hiding in plain sight” because many of us quit seeing blight as blight and accepted it as simply being the ugly side of who we are.

We encourage people to help us identify what they consider to be eyesores or situations where the city isn’t enforcing codes.

We received four telephone calls the first morning that the feature ran in the newspaper. More of them come in every day. You might say the calls and e-mails swamped us, which is what the city says about its procrastination in getting around to issuing citations.

The response is evidence of a long-standing policy to live and let live in the city, with little regard for the conditions. It’s time for Decatur to shake off its depression and demand that City Hall take action.

If the city’s six enforcement officers can’t handle the job, let’s hire more of them. If City Council members and the mayor won’t be aggressive, let’s look around for other people to elect in 2008.

“Hiding in plain sight” is a straightforward feature that includes location, the description of the situation, the property owner and which city officials are responsible for that location.

All you have to do is let us know about dilapidated buildings, litter, drainage problems and eyesores.

You may call The Daily newsroom at 340-2433 or e-mail us at

Our goal is to help our citizens make our city a place where more people will want to live and where companies will create jobs.

Cleaning ourselves up is the place to start.

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