The Clarksdale Board of Mayor and Commissioners discussed the need for ordinance enforcement and making property owners in this community clean up their property at Monday’s meeting.
We think it is a good idea.
People who choose to live in town give up some choices when they move inside the city limits.
Laws and ordinances let us know what the rules are and are designed to protect the quality of life for the thousands of people – young and old, rich and poor, black and white – who live in town. Fire codes, health regulations, sewer permits, curfews, speed limits, construction codes and animal ordinances don’t target one person – they apply to us all. And the key word in that phrase is “us.”
Those living in the county are allowed to live and pretty much do as they please. Sadly, state and federal regulations tend to be the standard for individual county residents.
But those who choose to live in the city with us must realize they give up a certain amount of choice and independence when they decide to become our neighbors.
Your Clarksdale Press Register will support the City of Clarksdale, the City of Jonestown and the City of Friar’s Point when they clean up real estate around town and send the property owner the bill. The community shouldn’t have to look at or see property values drop because of overgrown lots, rundown store fronts and abandoned houses.
But how the ordinance should be enforced is up to debate. Should police be charged with this? Street department employees? The Mayor? We think all should enforce city ordinances and stand shoulder to shoulder in enforcing them firmly and fairly.
When the municipalities across Coahoma County make a decision to grant variances it becomes confusing to all. If the ordinance is not a good one, it should be stricken from the books.
The city’s desire to help residents and find solutions is commendable. But we urge caution with granting variances that might be seen as favoritism.
City ordinances and policy need to apply to each of us equally and fairly.
They are the rules and regulations we all agree to live by if we are going to make this town our home. They should be enforced for the benefit of us all.