By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer
When Clovis native Margaret Dindinger decided to write a letter to the county about unsightly trash, weeds and dilapidated buildings at the entrances to Clovis, she had no idea she would get so much support.
Dindinger’s letter-turned-petition was presented Thursday to the Curry County Land Use Committee, along with a motion for a nuisance ordinance made by County Manager Lance Pyle.
The motion met with unanimous support, and in March the county will publish a notice of intent to adopt an ordinance, Pyle said.
“I was surprised and very happy,” Dindinger said Thursday afternoon. “I’m glad I did it. It wasn’t just me; there were other people that had the same idea.”
Pyle said trying to clean up the county has been a matter of discussion for many years, but without an ordinance, it wasn’t something officials could enforce.
“Hopefully we can get the town cleaned up,” he said.
The language of the ordinance still has to be created, he said.
Dindinger said he got involved because every time she drives on U.S. 60/84 she sees trash, old vehicles, overgrown weeds and abandoned houses.
Concern about the first impression of newcomers to Clovis from those things on their way in to town drove her to seek change, she said.
“I love Curry County and the surrounding areas, and it’s just not right,” said Dindinger, 61, the daughter of homesteaders who chose Clovis as their home and loved the area.
“We worked so hard to keep the base here, (but) then for those people to come here, what do you think they see when they come here? Do they think they’ve just fallen off the face of the earth?”
When people read her letter, they started asking if they could sign, and before she knew it, she had more than 70 signatures.
Commissioner Robert Sandoval said he has been fighting for an ordinance to clean up the appearance of county properties since he took office more than a year ago.
It is a difficult topic, he said, because people often move to more rural areas of the community to get away from restrictions and ordinances.
But if the community is going to try to entice new residents, something has to be done to control unsavory problems, he said.
“There are a lot of problems. At least (now) we can start working on it,” he said.