It’s time Turkey put trash in its place

It’s time Turkey officials stop talking trash and start getting rid of it, enforcing warnings they have issued but allowed to pile up like the garbage they say they don’t want to see in their small town.

Last week, citizens addressed several trash issues with the town board, seeking their help in cleanup efforts they say are needed to make Turkey more attractive to visitors and passers-by along N.C. 24.

Among the issues citizens see is the town’s apparent refusal to enforce multiple warnings given to one resident to clean up properties she owns in Turkey.

That resident, Camille Dunn, was warned again last Tuesday night, but she was also granted an extension by the town board, one of many she has received over the course of the last year or more.

We, like residents, believe enough is enough.

Town officials need to stop granting extensions and put teeth in their warnings so Dunn will heed the warnings and clean up the blight.

We agree with Commissioner Tony Moore who said last week, “I’m just one voice, but it’s kind of ridiculous that we keep dealing with the same thing over and over again.”

He’s right. Foot-dragging solves nothing and that’s exactly what town board members and Mayor Donald Myers are doing with continued warnings followed by continued extensions with no enforcement in sight. It’s no wonder Dunn does nothing about the issues at hand — she doesn’t have to, and she knows it by virute of the mulitple times the board has turned its head and looked the other way.

That should stop now. Residents who try to keep their property maintained and their town looking good deserve better from both Dunn and the town board.

While Myers, it seems, has taken issue with the railroad, the mayor doesn’t seem nearly as interested in insisting that something be done about an ongoing problem with Dunn’s property.

We don’t disagree that the railroad’s removal of a sidetrack doesn’t help the town’s appearance, and equipment left, even for a day, is sightly; we believe every issue should be addressed and warnings enforced.

So far that hasn’t happened.

Commissioners have now given Dunn until mid-January to get her property cleaned up. This go-round, town officials need to follow the warning with appropriate actions. And if those actions aren’t addressed in the town’s ordinances, then the board needs to take immediate action to rectify that matter, closing any loopholes and putting stronger teeth in rules.

But doing that alone won’t resolve the problem. Commissioners and Myers have to stand behind any new ordinances and then make every resident — not just a select few — adhere to them.

Residents at last week’s meeting pointed to other small Sampson towns like Roseboro and Salemburg, saying those areas didn’t have the trash problems that persist in Turkey, and they believe it’s because the eastern county town has done little to enforce the rules.

Stricter rules are needed, and it’s time Turkey officials found a way to put them in place.

No one wants to live in an unkept area that looks more like the salvage yard than a quaint town. That is one of the reasons small towns have governing boards.

It’s time the Turkey board do what it was elected to do – govern.