No one wants to live next to a dump.
That’s especially true for the people who have such a pride of ownership bubbling inside them that they care for their lawns and porches and gardens with the loving hand of a parent to a child.
In close quarters, sometimes it’s hard to ignore the rusting ghost of a Chevy in the driveway right next to your completely operational Buick.
While many of us try our best to get along, sometimes people just get busy. Sometimes they get neglectful. But sometimes they just don’t care.
Garbage attracts bad things, like rodents and undesirables. And what if you had to drive by that every day, or worse yet, live a stone’s throw away?
That’s the nightmare some folks in Hamlet are waking up to every morning, according to a group of people who turned out to a city council meeting earlier this week.
The council was approached by Jean Strickland who represented the Boyd Lake Road community. She brought with her a petition she said was signed by 47 people in her neighborhood, asking the council to address serious issues arising from a nearby mobile home park in that section of town.
And Strickland asked for much more than a bit of discussion and a police car to drive through now and then.
“We ask for the demolition of all the mobile homes,” Strickland told the council.
“They are run-down, and unfit for living. They have glass broken out of the windows, there are eaves hanging down and it is very much an eyesore with weeds growing up to the windows,” Strickland said.
“There are illegal drugs, prostitution, stabbings and shootings,” she said. “The police and EMS are called two to three times a week. We believe our public servants have more important things to do than to respond to the same place. Several of our homes have been broken into and some of the items have been recovered from the mobile homes.”
The woman concluded her plea for help with these words: “Our community doesn’t feel safe anymore and we believe this decreases the value of our homes. We want our neighborhood back.”
Who could blame the petition signers for wanting such a sweeping move, but the authorities can’t simply level a dozen house trailers — broken windows or not.
City Councilman Tony Clewis told the group of concerned residents that city officials, including the building code enforcement officer, have been checking on the mobile homes. “It’s not as simple as ‘take it down.’ We are working on it,” Clewis said.
The property on which the scattered group of trailers is located is reportedly being sold. We are hopeful the new owner takes stock and cleans house.
“We appreciate you bringing this to our attention,” Hamlet Mayor Jeff Smart told Strickland. “This sits beside one of our parks. We’ve had somebody try to break into our concession stand twice.”
We are encouraged that Hamlet officials see the complaints as a serious matter warranting investigation. Hopefully looking into the matter will lead to some positive action to clean up the area.
No one should feel fearful inside their own home.