OUR VIEW: Citizens need to keep parish clean

Published 8:55 am Sunday, February 3, 2013



The economy.

Washington Parish faces a myriad of challenges, and certainly these rank near the top of the list.

But perhaps the biggest threat comes from within its own citizenry, from the few who either through negligence or plain laziness sabotage the beautiful hamlet of southeast Louisiana so many call home.

Litter continues to rank as a nuisance that continues unabated. For years, parish councilmen and other elected officials have bemoaned the fact that unsightly rubbish mars so many parish roads and state highways as well as parks and playgrounds.

More importantly, the unsightly garbage casts a disparaging light on the parish, especially to visitors who must witness debris serving as ornamental highway markers. Is that the impression we really want to leave with visitors?

Although there are litter ordinances on the books enforcement is nearly impossible. Sheriff Randy Seal has become more proactive in attempting to catch violators, but law enforcement officials face issues far more pressing than litter.

Commissioning the constables and justices of the peace so they can cite violators, which is being proposed by the council, is a step in the right direction. As was recently noted, crews can clean up a street and three days later it looks as it did before.

Additional eyes on the road can only help.

Also sabotaging the parish are vandals who continue to believe road signs are theirs for the taking. Pilferage of road signs not only creates obvious safety road hazards but is also costly to the parish, which must bear the burden of replacement costs. Parish finances are already stretched thin and having to waste money on a road sign because of the ignorance of a petty thief is ludicrous.

Litter and road sign thievery may seem petty but the problems are costly to the parish and more critically, expose a lack of pride residents display to the place they live.

Washington Parish continues to be the jewel of southeast Louisiana; there is no equal. Uncaring residents should not smear her makeup; rather add the lipstick and expose her full beauty. And the best part is doing your part in keeping the parish clean comes at no cost.