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April 16, 2004

Perry could follow El Reno’s lead in handling local problems
Congratulations to the city of El Reno, a fine, upstanding community west of Oklahoma City. El Reno's ruling body has declared war on several local problems and an attack is being launched against them, effective immediately. According to TV accounts of the effort, the first problem to be dealt with is the appearance of the town.

When strangers drive through El Reno's residential areas now, they find the view blocked by broken down fences, junk cars, uncut lawns and old houses literally failing apart. El Reno is too proud to let that condition continue. A newly appointed city official has the daunting job of driving different areas to spot eyesores and then follow up with a word of warning to the property owner. After a reasonable time, if the junky area remains untended, a fine of more than $200 per day can be imposed until the problem is eliminated.

Perry's annual cleanup week will soon be here and that serves a real need, getting rid of some of the accumulation of trash and so forth since last year's cleanup. But how do we stop the frequent offenders who spoil the looks of our little city by not tending to their property? Maybe El Reno's pioneering effort would work here, too. We have a lot of problems in that area and someday a solution will be found that works for us.

If something isn't done, and soon, we will all be knee deep in discarded trash and junked-up property. Those things spoil Perry's appearance for visitors and the rest of us, who have chosen to make this our hometown. A beginning has been made, but unless some pressure comes soon from some authority, we're going to lose this battle.