Maintenance on tax payers dime

Published 7:39 pm Monday, August 10, 2009

The Selma City Council will examine its procedures for cutting grass on private property during its meeting tonight. Heretofore, the council has used a process that takes about eight weeks before city public works tractors or mowers can get the job done. The lag time frustrates many people in the public and the council members, too.

It’s understandable that the city would cut grass of vacant lots, especially if those lots become overrun with various bugs, rats and snakes. When the vermin arrive, it’s a sure thing the property owners have forgotten or do not have the time to check on their properties. Many landholders in the city do not live in Selma.

But think about this. Every time a city tractor or lawnmower is on private property that action costs taxpayers dollars. It takes a city worker and equipment away from doing other work.

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Some land owners do not live in the city. They need to hire regular maintenance to keep up with their vacant lots. Some landowners live in the city, but do not live on the property. They need to mow their yards.

If all else fails and property holders will not take responsibility for maintenance of their land, then the city should ensure the public knows who these people are. Maybe a sign on their property: The grass cut by City Public Works. Your tax dollars paid for this.