If I were new to the area and coming into Salem from any one of the main routes I would think twice about relocating to such a dismal area. Every route coming into Salem is lined with litter.
Ms. Popa wanted to see cleanup in Salem expand further and rightly so. Yes, our downtown needed cleaned up and it is great to see so many help out on cleanup day, but why aren't store owners doing it themselves? I remember when store owners even swept the curbs and our downtown shone!
And asking citizens to contribute money to revitalize downtown is wrong. First of all, it's the building owners' responsibility to take care of their buildings and second, it's the city's job to enforce codes and regulations. Maybe if we had a signage code for downtown that would help, too.
As for property other than downtown, a few simple things would make a lot of difference. Now people can't even seem to take their trash cans to the rear of their property nor put curtains at windows (no, blankets are not curtains), or rake their leaves, or when they do, they seem to think it's OK to rake them into the street or mow their grass into the street. What is wrong with this picture? Are people too busy to clean up their properties or just too lazy? And if you have an elderly neighbor, offer to help them with their property, too.
Salem people: Wake up! You want to invite businesses to come here, then make Salem look inviting. We need to have a cleanup day for the roadways coming into town so visitors' first impression is a good one. And people, even if you can't afford to paint your house, keep it neat and clean, pick up your junk, repair your fence, the steps, take the trash cans to the rear of the house, sweep your sidewalks.
Be proud of where you live, in Salem!