Dave Pratt got up at last week's council meeting and had something to say when the council was poised to spend $1.38 million to extend the bike path from Roeding to Service roads.
"You're not taking care of the ones you've got," said Pratt. "They're starting to become dumping grounds and the weeds are growing ... and you've got to play dodgeball with the limbs." He wondered if residents backing up to the bike path were responsible for throwing bags of trash and discarded tires over the fence. That was confirmed by Councilman Ken Lane and Deputy Public Works Director Jeremy Damas.
"We need to start taking care of what we have."
Well, to that I say, Ceres residents are collectively not doing their part. It is Ceres residents who are doing the trashing of the bike lanes.
I hear you, Mr. Pratt. I notice how people tack garage sale signs to utility poles or tape them to stop sign poles only to never take them down.
IT IS ILLEGAL TO PUT UP GARAGE/YARD SALE SIGNS EXCEPT AT YOUR PLACE OF SALE!
I also, on my runs, pick up trash along the sidewalk, often coming back with one hand full of it. It never seems to stop.
The city does not have adequate staff to take care of something that residents are causing and residents can remedy. Weekend crews are mostly consumed with taking care of the trash caused by users of Smyrna and Ceres River Bluff Regional parks.
Ceres residents, I deputize you in the name of community orderliness, to remove all garage sale signs you see while out and about. I also encourage you to take a small bag with you on walks and pick up the candy wrappers, soda cups and lids, crumpled up cigarette containers, beer cans and bottles and discarded homework assignments and to pick up it. It won't take up that much room in your own garbage can.
I also invite you pick-up owners to stop when you see a loose grocery cart, load it up and drive it to the store, then tell the manager that he should get on the ball.
Just because a person is low income doesn't mean one has to live like a pig.
I have to agree with Ken Lane who said, "If people would do their justice and do the right things, we wouldn't have these problems with people dumping over the fences, dumping their trash ..."
Mr. Pratt thinks maybe they need to be potty trained.
* * * * *
The phone just rang moments ago with a call from a gentleman who said he's been scanning the Courier for months and hadn't seen anything about the Walmart Supercenter.
It's frustrating knowing that you've been staying on top of the issue and yet people manage to not see such stories. Sir, perhaps you missed "Walmart figures in talk of Mitchell overlay" published on Sept. 27 and "City: Supercenter apparently on drawing board" published Aug. 23.
* * * * *
Of course, Prop. 218 is a fraud. That's the initiative which says rate increases can be halyed by the people if they manage to get 50 percent plus one to file a written protest. You can't get 50 percent plus one to agree or act on anything anymore so expect that the water rate increases proposed by the city of Ceres will be enacted just as surely as the sun rises tomorrow.
You can have your say at the Nov. 13 City Council meeting but I'm just telling you how it's going to go down.
* * * * *
So what is that pervasive odor that is hovering in the area of Richland Avenue, Darby Lane and Zona Bella Lane in Ceres? Marijuana, suggests at least one woman who is adamant that a major illegal pot growing operation is back. You may recall that in 2015 the area was used to harvest 4,000 pounds of product with a street value of $1.5 million. The smell is so bad that one woman told me that she now has liquid Tide and Bounce sheets "sitting in the windows because that takes away part of the smell ... and I have to leave my ceiling fan running 24 hours a day, which is not good, but that's the way it has to be so we can get some fresh air. It's that bad."
If it's true, Ceres police might want to check it out.
Do you have any feedback about this column? Let Jeff know by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
He will read it, promise.