April 3, 2008
Letters To The Editor
Well said, Joey:
It is rare for me to read something in the paper that brings me to the edge of tears. But last week’s letter by Joey Miller did that. While I’m much older, the place in time he paid tribute to was part of my childhood also.
Early special occasions were usually preceded by a trip to get the proper thing to wear and Graham’s advice was the final say for this.
While some speak of it, few will admit their emotional attachment and the fact that, like a favorite place to play or visit, Linwood/Miller’s was a port in our past - a port in which we felt at home.
Thanks, Joey - well said.
I have lived in large cities and small cities; and I prefer the small. As large cities get larger, and the population gets denser, life becomes more and more impersonal. People in those cities try to keep some distance between themselves and their neighbors, whom they don’t really know; and governments become more and more remote as ever more restrictive regulations are decreed in order to keep order and mandate some semblance of civility.
The charm of small cities has always been their ability to get along without a lot of restrictions on the lives of their citizens, and their ability to let their citizens get along with one other without forcing them into ranks and files of dutiful digits.
There are some advantages to large cities. Live entertainment in theaters and concert halls and a large variety of first class museums, restaurants and night clubs are just a few of the amenities offered by these cities. When I was young, large cities seemed vibrant and exciting places to live. Today I prefer to live in a small town atmosphere and pay an occasional visit to a big city when a need is felt for vibrancy and excitement.
I really have no desire to spend any part of my allotted time on this earth engaged in the classification and segregation of various species of household trash: glass here, plastics there, wet garbage in a third pile, and dry trash and garbage (excluding glass and plastics) in a fourth.
I have an aged and infirm dog with bad hips and rather a loose grip on her bladder and bowels. When she needs to step out into the snow at 4 a.m. I do not want to have to grab a leash and accompany her while shivering in my “jammies.” Nor do I want to have to follow her with a pooper-scooper, a plastic bag and a pocket full of doggie droppings. If I wanted to live like that I would be living in New York City, or L.A., or San Francisco.
When I first came to Holly Springs in 1990 I liked what I found. Since then, this little city has taken steps which appear to be aimed at making it more like its bigger cousins; and lately the slide seems to be getting steeper. When I first came to Holly Springs the city picked up the trash twice a week. Now it’s once a week.
When I started working on my house, the utility department put an old dump truck on my property into which the contractor put all his trash. When the truck was full, the utility department drove it off, emptied it and returned it for another load.
When I first moved here a resident could put broken and/or unwanted household items at the curb and the utility department would haul them off to the dump.
Today trash is picked up once a week (I realize that some of the problem is due to federal EPA regulations, but not all the blame lies outside the city); and now we are charged for hauling away those unwanted items: $5 for a lawn chair, $15 for a house door, $30 for a garage door, $50 for a refrigerator.
Some people will pay these fees. I will. I won’t like it, but I will pay them. Does anyone think that everyone will pay these fees? Some people really can’t afford an extra $50 expense. Others just won’t pay it.
Does anyone foresee the possibility of increased amounts of roadside trash on the county’s rural roads as the result of these new fees?
Of course, people caught discarding refrigerators by the side of the road can be fined – if they are caught. Most will not be caught. Of those who are caught, some will be people who dumped the refrigerator because they could not pay the $50 fee. Why should we assume that they will be able to pay the fine? Shall we jail those who cannot pay?
Our new dog license ordinance is another step down the slippery slope. What exactly is the purpose of this requirement for a license? Is this supposed to be a rabies control measure? How many household dogs have rabies?
If the problem is rabies, one needs to look to strays for a solution. Strays, however, are not going to be affected by the ordinance. The next question to be answered is who is going to pay for these dog licenses? The answer is: people who are unlikely to have rabid dogs, and who can afford to spend the $10.
As with the trash fees, what are we to do with people who cannot afford the license fee? Shall we jail them? How much will enforcement cost?
Holly Springs is a pleasant place, trying to build a tourist industry. Its claim to fame is its “quaint village” status, with friendly people and a visitor-friendly atmosphere. It would behoove us to resist the temptation to put on big-city airs by adopting measures which make life more regimented and less pleasant.
I ask again, what is the purpose of these ordinances? Could it possibly be revenue enhancement? Are we trying to balance an inflated city budget by nickeling and dimeing the populace?
If that is what we are doing, we had better be very careful to confine our pocket picking to our own citizens. If we start exacting tribute from visitors, the tourist business is not going to show much growth.
On Saturday the 8th of March I got a parking ticket in Holly Springs. Yes, apparently it is possible to get a parking ticket in this sleepy little town. I suggest that Holly Springs’ finest be strongly advised to use some discretion in the handing out of parking tickets. I cannot think of a more effective way to insure that a tourist’s visit to this town will be his last, than to give him a $163 parking ticket.
No, it is not a misprint, My parking ticket cost $163.
Very truly yours,
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