Elissa Yount: Don’t assume

In the early days of Clean Up Henderson there was a wide-spread assumption among management and workers in Henderson city government that absolutely nothing could be done about cleaning up around the railroad that runs through Henderson.

They had tried, and it just was impossible. They were positive that nothing could be accomplished. The city would soon find out that an assumption might be true, but not true for a particular situation when intelligence, hard work, co-operation, and collaboration were used.

And that is exactly what Lynn Harper and the Clean Up Henderson Committee used.

Lynn and others walked the railroad tracks from North Henderson to South Henderson. They mapped and diagrammed each and every problem that needed attention, and there were many of them. A booklet with all the pertinent information was complied. Then, on one fine day, the railroad officials and the city officials and the Clean Up Henderson volunteers took a walking tour of the entire line. By the time lunch was over, a collaborative agreement was reached and the plans went forward. A massive and long-overdue clean up of the railroad beds was accomplished. It was a turn-key job that the city and the railroad could be proud of.

Flash forward now, and let’s see if the city has kept up the work of following through and maintaining a clean railroad, along with the streets and intersections near the tracks. Has the rapport and the collaborative effort with the railroad thrived? Are these two groups working to keep the railroad through Henderson even cleaner? Has there been an even bigger push to keep things attractive, if not for our citizens, then for the High Speed Rail which will judge whether Henderson gets a stop? Is all the hard work that Clean Up Henderson accomplished still paying off? Has the city committed to finishing jobs in a professional manner and keeping and maintaining a clean railroad?

Elissa Yount: Don't assume - Picture 1

These railroad ties were dumped along the tracks, and the pile has not been removed in over three years. Does the city remind the railroad of their obligations?

Elissa Yount: Don't assume - Picture 2

The city dug this hole at intersection of Young and Chavasse Avenues. You can see the Henderson Public Works sticker on the orange cone. This hole has continued to collect trash, water, and debris for over three years. When do they plan to revisit this job?

Elissa Yount: Don't assume - Picture 3

The city removed this and two other covers and never replaced them so these holes in the street collect water and dirt on top of the valves. The covers lay on the grass for months and finally disappeared.

Elissa Yount: Don't assume - Picture 4

When the poles were moved by the power company, the dirt was left piled at the base of all the poles. Weeds grew up, and cutting is impossible. Also, hunks of stone and roots were left as unsightly reminders that the work was done.

Elissa Yount: Don't assume - Picture 5

The railroad cut limbs all along the right of way and left all the limbs lying there. This is just one example of this mess that was left.

Elissa Yount: Don't assume - Picture 6

The city worked on the street at Arch Street, and all these rocks and more debris remain. Mowing is impossible. Again, a job left incomplete with the debris left behind.

Elissa Yount: Don't assume - Picture 7

These rails lie along the tracks. Will there soon be more to join them?

Elissa Yount: Don't assume - Picture 8

This is the view going east on Andrews Avenue after crossing Garnett Street near Henderson Middle School. Is this acceptable?

Elissa Yount: Don't assume - Picture 9

This concrete block is another reminder of all that was removed. Why is this left?

You can be the judge. Is the city doing its work in a professional way, or is the work ethic to “just get by”? Is the city insisting that others who do work in our city clean up behind themselves? It is very disappointing to see us slipping back in doing things half-way and letting things slide. We deserve better than this. Do the job, do it right, finish it, clean up behind yourself, and keep up with the maintenance. We pay a tremendous amount of money to have our city managed, and we can do better than this.