I am convinced that the Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority's efforts combined with the recently-approved No Tolerance policy adopted by the Sikeston City Council will soon reap visible rewards for our community. In fact if you pay attention to the city court activities you will clearly see that action is finally replacing words in our community's drive to improve.
But the one thing that will drive this improvement more than any other is involvement by residents of Sikeston. If you see a code violation you must contact a code enforcement officer. And if action is not taken, you must revisit the issue with the code official. I cannot impress how important this aspect of the process truly is.
Many people have questioned me lately concerning one hidden piece of this puzzle and I have given assurance that the city has a plan of action. How will the city address the code violations - removal of a vehicle for example - when the resident truly cannot afford the cost of removal? I have said the city recognizes that some residents will simply not have the financial means to comply. And in those cases - isolated as they may be - I believe the city has an unannounced plan of action.
The first step of the process was the voter approval of the LCRA formation. That was overwhelming. Then the city needed new policies and ordinances in place to address the process. That too was overwhelmingly approved. Now is the time for visible action. And I'm told that process is just around the corner.
But the one item that must be understood is that a citywide reformation is an on-going process. To effectively remove eyesores and to effectively demand compliance with the new approach will be a process that takes years to complete. And it will not be successful unless the citizens of this community play a key role.
We are committed to improving Sikeston. If you force landowners, homeowners and renters to adhere to a new set of rules, some will resist that change. But over time and with strong enforcement, change will surely come. For those who fail to comply, there are ample roads leading out of Sikeston and into communities that have lax enforcement or no enforcement at all. We cordially invite those who will not comply to find a new home in another town. And we'll help them pack!