To the editor:

I am grateful to learn from a recent news report that Noble County is taking legal action to clean up a "junk yard" operating where one is not allowed by zoning rules. I think similar action should be considered for other eyesores that continue in our county and cause outsiders to be turned off, and those of us living here embarrassment and disgust.

Unsightly, non-compliant properties, much like the litter that some think nothing of throwing out their vehicle's windows or dropping on city streets, sidewalks, and alleyways, aren't just ugly, they diminish quality of life and threaten our economy in many ways.

The very ability to attract and retain a workforce to fill the jobs employers need filled now and in the future relies on everyone to be responsible for their property and behavior. If we expect to increase personal wealth and live a high quality of life here, then we need to create the kind of place that people want to invest in. We need companies to want to come here, and people to take up residency. If we want land values to grow, then the land needs to be appealing. Showing a sense of pride is a great place to start. If we're not trying to grow, then we are accepting a slow death.

Efforts to clean up aren't "personal," they are a necessity for any thriving community, county or town. If I had the means, I would place more trash containers and cigarette butt cans all over Noble County, and launch a billboard campaign to encourage more pride and less trash. Alas, I do what I can. I speak up. I pick up trash every time I take a walk, and I appreciate every other effort I see to help make Noble County a responsible, beautiful place to live, work and play. I hope others join and support the effort.

Lori Gagen

Albion

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