Contrary to the latest reports in the media, I’m not automatically against boys wearing droopy pants without a belt. They are sometimes cute, particularly when the boy is two and his shirt is long enough to hide his diaper.
The older fellows my constituent complained about aren’t quite so cute. I dutifully reported the complaint to my colleagues on city council during the “communications and reports” portion of last week’s meeting and the press is now covering the story far better than the pants in question cover the back sides of some of the young men walking around town. It is interesting that I’ve been contacted from as far away as Bloomington Illinois regarding this issue.
I suppose I should be happy the reporter didn’t zero in on the OTHER constituent request that I reported on right after speaking about the droopy pants complaint: A request that we install beer taps on the new playground equipment in Sims Park…
Believe it or not, I had today’s topic picked out before the proverbial trousers hit the floor last week.
One of the things we can do to attract new businesses and good paying jobs to New Port Richey is to make our city LOOK better. That means taking pride in the appearance of our homes and businesses.
The city used to offer both “paint-up/fix-up” grants for homeowners and facade and sign grants for businesses. Now that we are exiting the Great Recession, I would like to see the city get those programs going again. There is a lot we can do to spiff up our neighborhoods.
It starts one home at a time. Our next door neighbors have spent a small fortune fixing up their front yard with new landscaping and other features. Most of us aren’t in a position to spend thousands of dollars to completely re-landscape our yards. Still, we can do things one step at a time.
We started our spring cleaning this year by renting a self-propelled lift so I could re-glaze and paint the second floor windows and install new screens. We followed up a couple of months later by getting a yard company to come in and do some of the stuff I try to avoid. For example: Trimming the cluster palm in my front yard that has needle sharp fronds.
One of the issues we have in New Port Richey is the high number of residential rentals. Unfortunately, neither the landlords nor the tenants seem to have much interest in making the outsides of these homes look nice. All too often, we see trash and debris strewn all over the place and cars parked all over what used to be a lawn.
The city will be considering a parking ordinance in the coming weeks. Trying to curb the habit of parking on the yard and killing the grass will help, but the underlying problem is not that people don’t know what a driveway is for, but rather that they simply don’t care.
We CAN make this better. The city is sponsoring the Cotee River Cleanup on September 20th. Click on the link for more information. I hope you will join me. You don’t need a boat to help.
I remember the Rotary clubs helping fix up the yards and paint homes for some of our elderly and disabled residents. It isn’t difficult to clean up just about any yard when you bring in a team of 20-30 Rotarians to hack an overgrown yard into submission. Perhaps we could use some of that paint-up/fix-up money to underwrite this effort the next time.
Some of the businesses downtown have planted shrubs in front of their businesses to try to make the downtown a bit more attractive. Unfortunately, some of the folks who don’t care about our community have stolen plants and destroyed the planters. This happened most recently this weekend to a business down the block from me.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the plant thieves in question are also the same groups writing graffiti on the sides of various buildings. We’ll replace the planters and clean up the graffiti because we refuse to let them define our city.
It is a sad commentary that some of today’s youth have chosen to imitate a prison fashion and even sadder that some well meaning advocacy groups believe it is racial discrimination to point out that wearing your pants below your behind and holding your pants up by clutching your crotch crosses the line from fashion to just plain offensive behavior. Perhaps we need parents to get their kids involved with groups that would provide positive role models (eg. scouts, Rotaract, church youth groups, etc) instead of letting them run loose without supervision. That and teach them what belts are used for.
Hopefully, each of the rest of us will devote some time in the next month to helping clean up our city, one river and one neighborhood at a time.
Rob Marlowe, Mayor