Roses and Thorns 5-22-11

May 21, 2011 9:38:00 PM

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A rose to all the graduates of our local high schools, colleges and universities. 

 

Over the past few weeks, Mississippi State, Mississippi University for Women, and East Mississippi Community College completed degrees, and are either furthering their education or entering the job market. 

 

Likewise, a slew of high school students are doing the same. 

 

We are reminded of an old Chinese proverb: "Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere." Economies rise and fall. We''re experiencing a dip right now, which some recent graduates seeking work might be discovering. But a good education is indeed a treasure that can''t be taken away. 

 

We wish our graduates the best of luck, congratulate them for a job well done, and wish them luck as they begin their next step on life''s great adventure. 

 

 

 

A rose to the city of Columbus'' building inspectors, who are tasked with the unenviable, yet important, job of keeping property owners in line. 

 

This year, the inspections department has sent more than 300 notices to property owners, to clean up or maintain dilapidated properties. That means he city''s on track to beat last year''s total of 500 notices. 

 

We''ve joined our readers in bemoaning the vacant, blighted properties along Highway 45. Buildings such as the old KFC and Taco Bell only add to the area''s "ugly." 

 

Some white knights have come charging in, among them developer Mark Castleberry, who has rehabbed some vacant properties along the important commercial corridor, including the strip that includes McAlister''s and Dunkin'' Donuts. Now, we are enjoying a spurt of commercial activity along Highway 45: Old Navy is renovating, making way for new neighbors PetSmart and T.J. Maxx. 

 

But too many dilapidated properties remain, both commercial and residential. 

 

We thank our building inspectors for keeping them honest, and those developers who see Columbus as the wise retail investment that we know it to be. 

 

On the flip side of this coin, thorns go out to the property owners content to let their commercial and residential properties decay. Many of these owners are out-of-towners who don''t have to live next to, or drive past, these pitiful properties. 

 

To them we say, Columbus takes pride in its city, and we''ll continue to pursue every ordinance and legal remedy available to us, to keep Columbus beautiful. 

 

 

 

A rose to those of us who are showing interest in a new comprehensive plan for the future of Columbus. 

 

The last public workshop on the plan was held Thursday. The next step will be public review of a final plan, in mid-July. 

 

The plan will guide development and set zoning guidelines in the city for years to come. 

 

Sadly only a few dozen people have turned out for these sessions. Maybe Columbus has seen to many plans come and go -- some have decried that we already have several master plans for development sitting on a shelf somewhere. 

 

Nevertheless, it''s beyond time to get serious about Columbus'' future. Roughshod development in the city needs to come to an end. One only look at communities such as Madison to see the benefits of a master plan. 

 

Columbus deserves better city planning. The opportunity is here -- we only need to get involved. 

 

For more about the new city plan, visit ColumbusPlan.blogspot.com.