Metro is not required to inform Salemtown residents about how their neighborhood is going to be used as a staging area for the Great American Cleanup on May 14, including a landscaping project to benefit the Metro Action Commission (MAC) at 5th Avenue & Garfield Street. But it would have been considerate to send us something in the mail or ask our Council Member Erica Gilmore, who passed a Great American Cleanup bill at a recent council meeting, to give us some kind of heads up. Doing so might me appreciate MAC enough to support their project and budget initiatives in the future.
As it stands now, a POD was placed on a vacant lot adjacent to MAC, and one resident asked the Salemtown e-mail list this morning if anyone knew the purpose of the POD. I found out from the lot owner that he agreed to allow Metro to place it there for the May 14th event. This same owner has been trying for months to deal with the permission that MAC seems to give to its clients to park on his lot without his consent. He has been e-mailing MAC executive Cynthia Croom since March with little response and no assistance from her.
To make matters worse, with the economic downturn, the number of days that people come asking for assistance for utility bills from MAC seems to have increased. Whenever they visit MAC they dump heaps of trash on sidewalks, streets, and yards. Hence, the intersection of 5th & Garfield is increasingly trashy. MAC staffers told some neighbors that they will only clean up the trash literally on the MAC property, which is an old school building. Otherwise, they pass the buck for the rest of their clients trash to Metro Public Works, but they do not actually contact MPW to clean up.
Hence, the irony of staging the Great American Cleanup at the Metro Action Commission. They're responsible for a significant portion of the trash that might will be cleaned up around Salemtown on one day, and yet they'll continue to look the other way at future litter. And they're going to have their property landscaped for their lack of neighborliness. But I wonder why they still occupy the school building when Ms. Croom told me in 2005 that MAC was moving to Downtown in 2006. Given their propensity to empower littering on the streets of Salemtown, I wish they would have followed through with that move.
When Ms. Croom appeared before the Mayor's budget hearings recently to request that her commission be funded as she wished, I saw several council members behind her, two of whom were Erica Gilmore and Megan Barry. I'm not sure how supportive those members are of MAC, but I would like to see them encourage MAC to be a better neighbor to their other constituents in Salemtown and keep us better apprised of national events staged here.
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