Why so mean-spirited, Silt?

January 21, 2013


anderson propertySilt man convicted of having ‘too much junk’ on his property
Given two weeks to clean it up, calls deadline ‘impossible’

Really? Who knew there’s such a thing as “too much junk” in Silt?

I don’t know Mark Anderson. Never met him. But I know his house and property. I drive by it every day. All this “junk” is contained behind a fence. It’s not an eyesore because it’s not even visible unless you look for it. It’s not overflowing into the street or in his neighbor’s yard. He doesn’t have a vulgar banner hanging on the side of his house or fence. He doesn’t have campaign signs still posted weeks after the election. But he has been singled out for having “too much junk.”

Drive around Silt sometime. Everybody has too much junk on their property, including me. Perhaps the Town of Silt is unaware but we’re in the middle of the Great Recession. People tend to hang onto stuff longer — never know when you might need it. It’s harder to re-sell stuff. Not everyone can afford a storage unit at $100 per month.

What makes Mr. Anderson’s property so different from everyone else? It’s located across the street from the Town Hall.

Okay, so Mr. Anderson has “too much junk.” The judge fined him $1300 and gave him two weeks to clean it up, or he will be fined $400 per day. Yikes! She really threw the book at him. How does this solve the so-called problem? Who is being harmed if he doesn’t get his “junk” cleaned up in 2 weeks? Apparently the “junk” has been there for some time now. How can Mr. Anderson afford to clean up his “junk” when he has to pay such a steep fine? Seems like it would make more sense for the town to help him clean up the offending “junk” and then assess a fee for the clean-up and work with him on a payment plan.

This whole thing is mean-spirited. The town of Silt just comes off looking like a bully. “Too much junk” is not only subjective but it’s a victimless crime. I don’t think Mr. Anderson should have been cited in the first place, or fined, or given a deadline. After living in Silt for more than 16 years I do know one thing. Town government and the cops have a long history of singling people out and picking on them. It has happened to me and if you live in Silt it has probably happened to you.

This mean-spiritedness doesn’t stop with Mr. Anderson’s “junk.” For-like-ever, the policy for water/sewer/trash bill has been due on the 15th of the month but included a 10-day grace period and a late fee was not added until after the 25th of the month. Last fall the town enforced a new policy. Pay your bill by the 15th. No grace period. A late fee is added on the 16th. I guess the town has found a new way to raise revenue from folks already having a hard time making ends meet. Really mean.

Many folks in Silt are scraping to get by, barely making it from one month to the next.
Silt town government should be more compassionate during these hard economic times. So much for community spirit …

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