Massa: Town a Gypsy Camp

BLYTHEWOOD – In opening remarks at Town Council’s Monday evening meeting, Councilman Bob Massa complained once again that because the town government has still not hired code enforcement personnel, the Town looks like “a gypsy camp” on weekends. He said he was referring to the proliferation of unpermitted vendors setting up shop on weekends throughout the town.

“If we continue to have problems with rogue vendors setting up shop in empty lots throughout the town,” Massa said, “it will look like a town of gypsies.”

Massa said that he and his wife sometimes shop around the Upstate for a second home and the first thing they judge about a community is what it looks like.

“Going in,” he said, “if there’s a lot of trashy stuff hanging out, we’re probably not going to move there. I find it interesting that we have more important things to work on,” Massa continued. “Code enforcement will go a long way to make our town a more desirable place to live.”

He continued, “Coming off I-77 into town, it looks like a gypsy camp. That will cause people not to want to even stop at our restaurants. We need to get a code enforcement officer part time or full time. By leaving this on the table,” Massa said, “we’re allowing residents and nonresidents to create bad habits and a bad image for our community.”

Massa has on other occasions complained about the lack of regular maintenance on the newly landscaped I-77 exit. Last spring, town hall discontinued the lawn care service that had been hired under former Town Administrator John Perry. Mayor J. Michael Ross said he would like to just mow and maintain on an ‘as-needed’ basis. Since that time, there have been complaints to town hall and in the newspaper about the neglected landscaping on I-77. On Monday evening, Ross said the I-77 exit as well as the landscaped area at Exit 34 would be mowed for the Labor Day holiday.

While Ross has heretofore opposed hiring a code enforcement officer, he asked Town Administrator Gary Parker to make a note to add code enforcement to the agenda for discussion at the workshop in September.