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City should lead through example

October 14, 2012
The Herald-Star

To the editor:

This year, the city of Steubenville embarked on a street repair program that I have been advocating for years - that being to seal the developing cracks in the streets so as to extend their life. For this I applaud them, but the city deserves criticism as well.

I realize that there are fewer workers to do maintenance and repair, but in a year in which we experienced the hottest and driest summer in years, these workers should have been free to do a lot more street repairs since grass did not need to be cut as often. At least home owners I know were not cutting lawns as frequently.

Not one major street in the city was sealed, not West Market Street or Sunset Boulevard, none of the downtown streets, not St. Charles Drive or Lauretta Avenue. These last two are main access roads to Trinity Medical Center West for many visitors and employees.

What were sealed were subdivision streets. Third Street, which I travel almost daily, has an ever widening crack running down its middle as well as potholes beginning to form.

One pothole I called to the city's attention weeks ago but it has not been repaired, and these are not the only ones. Certainly the subdivisions need cared for, but I would think the priorities would first be those streets used by the many as opposed to those used by the few.

The city has also announced the beginning of a beautification project to enhance our city's appearance. Washington Street was recently rebuilt along with a new retaining wall for the underpass. Not only are weeds growing along the base of the walls, but also from the seams in the sides of them. Recently, I saw a crew cutting the weeds along the base with a weedeater. Why can't we pull them out or, better yet, spray them with a weed-killer so as to prevent their growth, as is done in Wintersville and other communities, or is the city trying to replicate the Hanging Gardens of Babylon? State Route 7 through the city looks terrible and even with the construction taking place, I would think some maintenance could be done.

And speaking of maintenance, why is the city paying a lawn service company to cut the area next to the new city building? I would think that the city could spare one worker one hour a week to run a mower and do some trimming. And if not, how about getting people sentenced in court to do community service.

If the city is so concerned with its imagine that it needs to have a project to order to enhance it, then it needs to lead by example. So far, it has fallen far short of doing so.

John J. Mascio


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