GUEST COLUMN — Vidor resident suggests community develop options

Published 12:02 am Friday, December 15, 2023

Our country is now facing many issues and concerns. The question arises how to address numerous problems that need to be solved.

I propose that solutions begin at the local level. The citizens and local officials of the city where I live need to tackle some pressing issues.

Our town needs to develop more pride in our community, citizens must become responsible and hardworking, and respect law and order.

The small rural town where I reside has a negative reputation in our area. In the past, citizens have shown prejudice and intolerance. However, in the last 30 years, citizens have worked to reverse this image.

Recently, a group of white supremacists from another town gathered on our main street to demonstrate. Soon the uninvited mob was met by a group of citizens and told to leave because they were not welcome in our town.

Citizens want to be proud of our town and its renewed, improved image. The city officials can help by encouraging and assisting in physically cleaning up our community.

The town has many abandoned, dilapidated houses from past hurricanes that need to be remodeled or demolished. The elected officials need to address this problem to make our area more attractive and welcoming.

Our town, like all areas, needs responsible and working citizens. Homeowners need to mow the grass, clean their lawns, and take pride in their property.

Yards in some neighborhoods have abandoned vehicles, old appliances and trash littering the landscape.

Our church has workdays where groups go into the community and help senior citizens or the disabled with yard work or other needs. Maybe a community-wide workday would encourage our area.

Lastly, our city needs to show respect for law and order. Illegal drug use is a huge problem in our country and in our town. More needs to be done to enforce the laws and eliminate this problem that is costing the lives of many people.

I believe citizens should report illegal activities to help save lives. Our town has a crime watch organization that now has over 20,000 members from Orange County. The group leader makes relevant reports on Facebook at least twice daily, and members can report concerns in their neighborhoods.

The goal is to stay informed and report any illegal activities or perceived dangerous events to law enforcement. Obeying even simple laws like having dogs on leashes in the city limits or obeying county burn laws are significant in keeping law and order in the community.

The small community where I live has made progress in recent years in demonstrating a more tolerant and accepting attitude. The town still needs more pride and concern in developing an attractive, pleasant area where people want to buy or build homes.

Our community has made progress in building an attractive city hall, appealing school administration building, and beautiful churches, but the need to clean up neighborhoods and demolish abandoned buildings is still a visible concern.

Responsible, accountable, law-abiding officials and citizens can continue to make a difference in helping our small town be a shining light in the county.

Zagan King is a Vidor resident who submitted this column as part of his college scholarship effort. He can be reached at zaganking@gmail.com.