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Your editorial is dead on, but more geography needs to be under scrutiny. There is crap to the west, in the middle and to the east. The good news is on my daily commute I can see who has been in an accident, what kind of mattresses are being stored under cover, and what kind of junk is being stored on a 22 acre parcel for sale: cars, refrigerators you name it. Is any of that stuff for sale? We live in a beautiful place and I guess people get de-sensitized or are too busy texting while driving to notice.
People, especially our leaders, talk about positive economic growth and development, but they continue to do nothing about the economically stifling visual blight of which you speak. In my view, this necessary clean-up comes under the category of low-hanging fruit. This is simple stuff, clean up the crap and it can’t possibly hurt the prospects for economic development.
Beyond the economic development issue is the issue of pride and self-respect. I am always amazed driving through small towns in Utah that they have either through ordinance or peer pressure made sure the people driving through their town have a clean and visually pleasing experience. Never mind what somebody has in his or her yard, as long as it does not negatively reflect on the community, neighbors or more importantly, for a tourist and second home driven economy, people passing through town.
I can hear the, “this is my property I can do whatever I want crowd” already. That’s right, you can, but not when it begins to negatively impact the economic well being of the entire community. Since the economic decline of 2008, I have talked with politicians and county managers about cleaning up the place. I would like to publicly ask what progress has been made on that front in the last three years? It’s about time leadership throughout Pagosa is held accountable by actions, not endless words and excuses.
I am sure someone will speak up about the “tyranny of the majority” or “positive about Pagosa,” but let’s hope someone shows some leadership and gets things cleaned up. It can’t hurt business or the local economy, and it might even help.