Beautification committee members want to pass dedication on to youth

By Eric Butler: Freedom New Mexico

In a perfect world, guys such as George Lees wouldn’t have to put in time on city government entities at 86 years of age. Lees’ world, indeed, wouldn’t have such things as a Keep Clovis Beautiful committee.

“I resent, in a way, that we as a group have monthly Trek For Trashes. We award trophies for the groups that collect the most trash on a Saturday morning,” Lees said. “I was raised differently. If I didn’t pick up my clothes or do my chores, there was a consequence.

“My mom and dad didn’t pick up after me, and here we are, as a community, carelessly littering so somebody else can pick it up,” he added.

But does Lees actually not support a regular activity to keep Clovis clean? Not exactly.

“I revamped my attitude toward it. It’s better to do it that way than to leave it there,” Lees said.

It’s the passion of Lees and others to live in a clean town that led them into community service in the first place.

Lees is one of eight community members on the 13-member Keep Clovis Beautiful committee, a recently revamped version of the Clovis Pride committee — of which Lees was an original member almost 10 years ago.

That original committee was created right after the Pittsburgh native moved to Clovis from Largo, Fla.

For Lees, he emphasizes a couple of main points on how to help clean up the town.

“Basically, it’s the arteries into the city,” Lees said. “And it’s my view that the children could be talked to when police make their rounds. When they advised the children about security and things like that, they also ought to be told about being careful with their litter.”

On June 16, members of several entities signed a “Keep Clovis Beautiful” resolution. Representatives of the city of Clovis, Curry County, Cannon AFB, the Clovis/Curry County Chamber of Commerce, Clovis Community College, Clovis Municipal Schools, Clovis MainStreet and the Clovis Industrial Development Corp. pledged their support.

But the bulk of the committee consists of people such as Lees and 44-year-old Jerry Snipes.

Unlike Lees, Snipes’ recent recruitment into the Keep Clovis Beautiful committee is his first foray into government service.

“I take pride in Clovis and I’d like to see it look a little better,” Snipes said. “It depends on where you’re at in Clovis. Some of it needs work and some doesn’t; I hope we can focus on the parts that do need work.”

The public is also invited to attend regular meetings that occur on the third Monday of each month. The next meeting is scheduled at 5:30 p.m. July 20 at City Hall.

“Education is a big tenet in this whole piece — to bring children up to be responsible in regards to litter and to not throw their trash around,” said Clovis Community Development Director Claire Burroughes, agreeing with Lees.

Fast facts

What: Keep Clovis Beautiful committee meeting

When: 5:30 p.m. July 20

Where: City Hall