James Bennett: A One-Man Clean-Up CrewOct 18th, 2011 | By Lynette | Category: Front Page
By Lynette Norris
Greene Publishing, Inc.
Osgood Street next to the small neighborhood Clover Farms Grocery was looking pretty bad; it was overgrown with vines and shrubbery and full of trash – plastic bottles, drink cups, fast food bags empty cigarette packs and other debris.
The nearby residents had been calling and complaining, trying to get help from the County Commission, and Bennett tried calling the Road Department to come help him get the street cleaned up; his understanding was that the department would send in a team of inmates Monday morning to help with the task, but by noon, Bennett, who had been there since 8 a.m., was still working alone, and didn’t know what the hold-up was. Inmates cost people tax money, and Bennett feels they should be out working on projects just like this one. “If you do the crime, you do the time. You don’t sit around in jail all day playing cards.”
“These people pay taxes just like everybody else,” he said, indicating the small grocery, the small residence next to it, and the surrounding neighborhood. But side of the road was so overgrown that no one could see the little house, or business with the lot full of cars behind it. Now, with improved visibility, both places are safer, and with the adjacent roadway cleared of trash, Clover Farms Grocery doesn’t have to worry about its customers being turned off by the eyesore and taking their business elsewhere.
Bennett, using his own truck, gas, tools and lawn mower had managed to cut a wide swath in the in the vines and shrubs and gather up a large bag of trash.
“When people have a problem, you need to be able to step in there and solve it,” he said. “It’s time to get on the ball and be able to work together, and I got out here to show people that this is what I will be doing.”