Letter to the Editor

Response to Mr. Long's letter

Friday, April 1, 2016

I want to applaud Mr. John Long's letter to the editor published Wednesday, March 23, 2016, in The Marshall Democrat-News. He was able to write, very eloquently, what I and many others in Marshall have thought for a very long time.

I feel Marshall has more than its share of "slum landlords." Most home owners pride themselves on maintaining their property, but many rental properties in town are sub-standard housing. My husband and I own one rental home. We have had any number of prospective renters tell us they have seen other rental homes in Marshall that they wouldn't get out of their cars to go look inside the property because of the appearance from the street.

The empty, run-down buildings in Marshall are a disgrace and some have become even dangerous. West Arrow Street is one of the main entrances to downtown Marshall. In the nine blocks from U.S. Highway 65 to the West Arrow Street intersection to the square, there are approximately three houses, four retail business buildings and on old defunct hotel that need to be demolished. There are several more that surely don't meet code. Does no one have the authority to enforce current ordinances? We also have the eyesore of the old hospital building. I only hope the Habilitation Center Campus does not become another empty, deteriorating, dangerous eyesore.

Maybe my thoughts are too simplistic for city government, but when a family wants or needs something they develop a long-range plan. They tighten their belts and do without some luxury they have allowed to creep into their budget. They look for additional ways of generating funds. Long range plans can change, but it is important to have a goal.

I have read with interest newspaper articles explaining why this can't be done and that can't be done, maybe it is past time Mayor Gooden, the City Council and Mrs. Latimer either step aside, or step up to the plate, to find a solution to the problems of a decaying town.