Our view: Carver Drive residents benefit from approach of campaign season

February 21, 2013 10:33:40 AM



For years, Carver Drive residents have complained about the foul smells emanating from a nearby drainage ditch. 


The politics of the issue have produced an equally offensive aroma. 


Finally, Starkville aldermen Tuesday overwhelmingly supported Ward 6 Alderman Roy A. Perkins' plan to concrete the sides and bottom of the Carver Drive, but more importantly the board finally came together harmoniously over an issue which divided Starkville leaders for years. 


Last summer, the Carver Drive ditch situation boiled over when aldermen discussed how the city should approach solving the decades-long issue. 


Perkins, an adamant supporter of piping and covering the entirety of the trench, took issue with other aldermen when the board voted to simply channel and restore the ditch, a move opposing leaders said would be a more cost-effective solution. 


The senior alderman bristled when the board rejected his proposal, called for a change of leadership and asked residents to vote with their convictions in the 2013 municipal election. 


Eight months later, aldermen passed Perkins' motion with little negative debate. Perkins himself said repeatedly he was humbled and grateful by the board's decision and pledged to remind his constituents about the leadership they showed when passing his request. 


Some might call Perkins' February push politically motivated as election campaigns hit full swing. Incumbents should fare better on the campaign trail without the constant drumming of the Carver Drive ditch issue and Perkins' previous claims that aldermen have done more for their respective wards than for Wards 6 and 7, which are predominantly black wards. Regardless the motives, it's high time aldermen faced this quality of life and health issue. 


We, however, remain hopeful that an oft-divided board may have found a bit of harmony in the last few months of its administration. Would have been nice had this newfound harmony come earlier in the term.