Kicking Back

Kicking BackSo much for a quiet Monday. Expecting not a great deal on my plate this morning due to my having worked diligently this past weekend to get everything caught up, the phone calls started early and kept it up long past 6:00 PM. I’m glad the market is still active and hopefully will continue on into July and August. With all the rain we’ve been getting, I’m beginning to feel like we live in Greenville. One of unfortunate by-products of having a lush summer is seeing how many of the tenants in those rickety homes on the perimeter of the downtown don’t take care of their yards. I have absolutely no idea what so many people do with all the free time on their hands. I noticed a young boy this afternoon down near the old Cenex gas station mowing a small patch of grass with a power mower. He looked like he wasn’t much older than seven or eight years and could barely handle that mower. It frightened me a bit seeing that he was wearing open toe sandals. I don’t think I would have allowed someone that young to mow with that big power mower. Those small feet could have easily slid under that mower. Oh well, we must hope for the best with the safety of others. We as young children were given jobs around the farm but not allowed to run power machineries until old enough to understand as well as physically handle them.

A couple who live out of State purchased a home here for their son who will be moving to Mason City. In our conversation about districts and their visible neglect, the mother asked me, “Doesn’t your City or County have better control over the condition of those properties?” I was not surprised to hear that question because they’d toured our entire city. I become embarrassed for the sake of Mason City as a whole in hearing comments like that from people living elsewhere. The only thing I could say was, “I believe we will start seeing some changes in the near future regarding the blight you’ve been seeing. There are more and more people coming on board with their call for something to be done about chronic problem properties.” Forty years ago there were no large areas of our city that were considered bad with the exception of several blocks of homes in a few districts. Now we’re seeing whole neighborhoods devolving and it makes me very sad as well as exceptionally disappointed with those responsible.

I’ve been taking extra time to work with the investors who’re not afraid to re-invest in the homes they own and whenever they purchase something, they always do everything they can to make them safe, sound, and sanitary. I’ve always said, “If your rental property is not in a condition where you could see yourself living there, then it’s not good enough.” One of the owners I work with makes a point to do a quarterly inspection of his properties. Now that’s what I call being proactive. There will certainly be a time when the bulk of our citizenry says “Enough of kicking our community down! It’s time we start kicking back at those responsible.”

With many great and wonderful opportunities our community has to offer, we can’t afford to be giving visitors and possible investors bad impressions of our city. We must always work towards creating a better place to live, work, and relax so that the generations following us will look back on us and be thankful for our efforts.