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SUNDAY, JULY 8, 2007
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Ordinance promotes safety and comfort, protects property values

To The Daily: Dumbfounded. This was my reaction after reading a June 25 letter to the editor regarding Decatur’s weed, junk and litter ordinance and its unfairness to the “poor.”

The author stated that the ordinance targets “low to median income homeowners and renters.”

The ordinance does not require anyone to go broke by making sure weeds and grass are below 12 inches and “dead” vehicles and trash are out of sight.

If grass and weeds are allowed to grow uncontrollably and irreparable cars are stored in yards, an infestation of insects, rodents and reptiles will result. I have noticed in the “In Plain Sight” feature in The Daily, several of the homeowners do not live in Decatur. They do not have to live next to these eyesores and worry about mosquitoes, rats and snakes. If they did, surely they would think twice about allowing property they own to reach a desperate state.

The enforcement of this ordinance is first and foremost for the safety and comfort of all of Decatur’s residents. Keeping properties clean and free of junk will maintain property values, but who can argue that is bad?

The letter writer also charged that the city is “not bothering with the higher echelons of the city.”

Every citizen of Decatur is free to place a call to the hot line to report a home in violation of the ordinance. We all should be on the lookout for offenders, regardless of where we live. If you see a city structure that is violation, call it in, too; the city should certainly not be exempt from its own laws.

I applaud Decatur for addressing this issue. I hope the ordinance will continue to be enforced and allow Decatur to be a city all of its citizens will be proud to call home.

Kim Anderson
Decatur

New businesses don’t mean new city revenue

To The Daily: The Hartselle City Council emphasizes at every opportunity the city’s need for new consumer businesses, which we are not actually getting. They boast this is helping Hartselle’s tax revenue. Not true. This is your typical smoke-and-mirrors politics.

Hartselle has a relatively fixed consumer base, which includes Hartselle and its immediately surrounding population. New additional businesses will not grow Hartselle’s existing limited tax base; therefore, no sales tax growth. Status quo is maintained, nothing more. Of course, sales will be redistributed among the new and existing businesses, but it will not generate additional buyers or additional revenue. To grow, Hartselle must expand its relatively fixed sales tax base by increased population, increased sales from outside its tax base (transit sales) or retaining internal sales which routinely go elsewhere (Decatur, Huntsville).

A prime example of the latter two categories is a natural: alcohol sales. Regardless of what you are told by undisciplined, uneducated naysayers, properly governed alcohol sales are a boon, a blessing to every community where they exist.

Perhaps the sole problem is our leaders (elected and non-elected). Not ever having lived where alcohol sales exist, they are not capable of handling the situation. Therefore, everyone suffers because of the biased inability of a few.

Another tale of the tail wagging the dog.

James L. Nix
Hartselle

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