Venter helps clean up Ward 8

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Councilwoman Janie Venter may not look like a Wild West sheriff, but that’s not going to stop her from cleaning up this town.

Venter, along with a whole posse of Selma residents, cleaned up an empty lot on Linberg Avenue yesterday.

While a single lot doesn’t seem like a big deal, for the neighbors on the street, it was.

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For Venter, it was just another way to pitch in for her Ward.

“That’s what it’s all about, being a servant,” she said.

Venter said she received a call yesterday from a Ward 8 resident about a recently vacated lot.

The former residents, who lived in a trailer on the lot, had left a mess.

Venter went out to take a look, and wasn’t pleased with what she saw.

The ground was covered with branches, paper, old tires and scraps of siding.

She called General Services manager George Hicks, but Hicks was out of the office because of a death in the family.

“So I gave a hand,” she said.

Venter quickly marshaled her forces, including some neighbors in the area: Walter and Frank Smith, 17-year-old Vanessa Fuller, 20-year-old Randy Perry and her 17-year-old granddaughter, Jessica White.

Two hours later, a four-feet tall pile of rubbish sat on the side of the road ready for pickup.

She said a lot of the credit went to her posse of helpers and couldn’t thank them enough.

Still, despite the successful trash roundup, Venter said her fight to regulate litter wasn’t over.

“My next step is East Selma,” she said, “as I see where I can get out and help.”

She said she’d also find out who made the mess in the first place.

“I’m going to find who owned this lot and lived here,” she said.