Well, the cleanup of Spring 2015 is in the rearview mirror, and it appears that it was a HUGE success from all corners of Comanche, Texas. Today, I took a deep breath and quickly grabbed Mayor Ronnie Clifton as he passed me heading into city hall to solve a normal daily crisis.
“Talk really fast and tell me why you felt that it was important enough to allow Comanche citizens this cleanup process,” I said, knowing he would understand that I had only about an hour before this article had to be online.
“There were so many reasons to authorize a cleanup,” the mayor began, “and, quite honestly, it was way overdue. First and foremost our citizens needed some place to go with unwanted trash that was more than could be picked up by our waste services. We had things that had been piling up for a long time, and trying to get rid of it an item at a time was going to take people a very long time. That can be terribly disheartening. Giving them the big roll-offs allowed them to get rid of everything at once.
“We were also able to help people get rid of their brush piles as well as their unwanted tires. Both of these are dangerous because they are havens for rodents and are a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
“Of course, the overall big picture was to help our citizens get their properties up to code. Both the volunteers and the city staff have done a magnificent job of helping people who did not have the resources to get this done otherwise.”
And then I had one last quick question for the mayor because I have had volunteers bending my ear (actually both ears) for the past two weeks. Some have helped me clean before, and this time, they had plenty to say about getting the town clean and keeping it clean.
“So you do believe that we should follow the laws that are on the books and insist that Comanche get itself up to code?”
“I believe that it is a matter of economics, and as I said before, tourism is an industry. Although I would like to see the entire town brought up to code, I especially would like to see us focus on our business district and the blocks surrounding it. Comanche is blessed to have 12,000 cars per day driving right through it. We want to make the town look so good that many of those cars will want to stop and eat with us, buy gas from us, shop with us, even walk the square, take a photo at Old Cora, and talk to us. Eventually, all of these things pay off. BUT, people don’t usually bother to stop when a town’s grass needs mowing, when there are weeds growing in its sidewalks and around its businesses, and there is trash on the side of its roads. It is the city’s job to see that these things are not happening.
“I believe this cleanup is just the beginning and that it shows just what the people of Comanche can do when they work together and put their minds together. I could not be more proud of everyone who calls Comanche home!”
And that’s pretty much the way we feel today, Mr. Mayor…pretty much the way we feel!