A few weeks ago, fellow blogger DTV Deputy Clean wrote about the worsening conditions he’s witnessed in and around his neighborhood since moving to Trenton. In his post, he talks about the criminal element, the trash factor, and the overall lack of common consideration and civil behavior practiced by a growing number of Trenton residents.
Not too long after that, another web colleague a series of similar observations from her corner of town. TrentonKat also commented on the generally lack of civility and respect that many people show for the neighbors and other Trenton residents. She then contrasted Trenton with a Canadian town of similar size and economic woes.
As is often the case, the thoughts of these individuals resonated with me and echoed similar observations I have made.
Many of us have been quick to point out the foibles and farces of our elected officials as the cause of Trenton’s woes and left the citizenry out of the picture. Now, this is not to say we have been wrong about our public officials and we’re now letting them off the hook for the condition of the city. This is to say there is certainly an equal amount of blame to be placed on the citizenry who just doesn’t seem to care about anybody or anything that isn’t instantly gratifying to his or her own immediate, selfish needs.
This self-centeredness is evident everywhere you look in town. From the trash strewn streets and poorly maintained rental properties to the slovenly dress and rude behavior of our fellow citizens.
Walking through downtown one day, I was struck with the contrasts of Trenton today and the Trenton of yesterday. Where there used to be throngs of people in appropriate attire for their business day activities there are now people looking as if they just got out of bed or had just finished changing the oil in their car.
If you go to any thriving downtown at midday during the workweek, you will see well-groomed people in clean, properly fitting clothes taking care of business. In Trenton, you are treated to women in revealing clothes that are at least two sizes too small while the men are usually struggling to keep their oversized jeans up.
Don’t tell me that it is “fashion” or that it is the only clothing the under-employed, under-educated, underclass can muster. It is laziness and a lack of respect for themselves and for others. These circus-clown garbed individuals are not wearing hand-me-downs and cast-offs, they have chosen to spend their money on these costumes.
Is it any surprise why we can’t get businesses offering good jobs to locate in town!
Moreover, if people don’t know how to dress properly and still be comfortable, they also don’t know how to behave in public.
Just this week while tending to business at a downtown bank branch, I was privileged to watch as another customer calmly consumed his lunch of fried chicken and potato salad from a paper plate…while transacting business at the teller’s window. This repast was most assuredly “finger lickin’ good” as our gourmand smacked his lips and asked the teller, loudly, if she had any hand sanitizer to share with him after he had finished eating.
You’ve read here before about the high number of public urination and defecation incidents we encounter on a regular basis. This goes hand-in-hand with the frequent episodes of people leaving their trash in the street after cleaning out their vehicles or in the parks after having lunch or a snack. And we’ve all seen the person finish with whatever fast-food, take out delicacy and drop the cup/plate/wrapper to the ground rather than hold onto it for a few more steps until they reach one of the many curbside trash cans.
Pet owners constantly flaunt the laws regarding cleaning up animal waste, let alone registering their cats and dogs as required.
Noise issues stemming from too loud music in houses and vehicles of all description are numerous (and not just a Trenton problem). While everybody may feel the need to “rock out” once in awhile, most choose an appropriate time and place so as to minimize the potential for disturbing others.
Do I need to go on?
Trenton has become a very uncivil, rude place to be. It is, contrary to some, not all that great a place to “live, work, play.”
Our “leaders” have failed to do anything about the markedly downward slide the city has taken. Perhaps it is because the same ill-behaved, poorly dressed people are the very same constituent base that continually elects and re-elects the carnival act known as “Trenton city government.”
Therefore, as the city readies to celebrate Heritage Day tomorrow we urge everyone to stop acting as if this is his or her last moment on earth. Start thinking about how everything you do…from the way you dress, the way you talk, how you eat, who you vote for…effects everyone around you.
Show some pride in yourself and your city.