Vote to make county cleaner

Published 3:32 pm Wednesday, October 11, 2006

By Staff
Gov. Bob Riley told Rotary members Monday that Escambia County residents have &#8220one of the nicest, neatest communities in the state.”
I bet he says that to all the cities he visits.
But, campaign talk or no, Riley is right: We have a beautiful community, and we need to keep it that way.
And rural Escambia County residents have an opportunity next month to make a big impact on how clean our communities can be.
A measure on the November ballot will give Escambia County commissioners more power to control nuisances such as noise, litter and junkyards in unincorporated areas of the county.
Ever had a complaint about a noisy party in your area or what amounts to a junkyard at the house next door? Right now, the county can't do anything to stop residents from making a mess or being loud.
But the local act on the ballot would give the county the opportunity to enforce restrictions on such nuisances.
County commissioners say this isn't a power grab on their part; rather, it is a chance to turn local power back to the county.
By the way, did you know that another measure on the ballot this year concerns the number of members on the Macon County Board of Education? Do you care how many people serve there? I certainly don't, but because our state constitution is set up the way it is, we all have to vote on such measures for the counties.
The &#8220limited self-governance act” that passed the Legislature in 2005 gives counties the opportunity to enact controls on nuisances.
It's a small but welcome step toward giving local governments more control over their own affairs - like how many members sit on the board of education.
In addition to the nuisance act, there's another measure on the Escambia County ballot that will help all residents in the county.
A local amendment would phase out the supernumerary system in the county - the system by which certain county officials continue to receive a portion of their salary after they leave office. If the amendment passes, new county officials would simply take part in the state retirement system.
The measure would save the county - and therefore the taxpayers - $135,000 per year.
A clean county and money leftover? Two good reasons for two yes votes.
Kerry Whipple Bean is publisher of The Brewton Standard. She can be reached at 251-867-4876 or by e-mail at

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