09 January 2006

Pineville not picture-perfect

this readers write appeared in todays town talk...

Pineville not picture-perfect

My husband and I grew up in Pineville, and after college we moved back to start a family. The town was safe and schools were great. We built a home in a great neighborhood and my parents built next to us.
In our neighborhood you could leave doors unlocked and let children play without worry. What a difference only a few years have made.

Despite the propaganda articles that are printed in The Town Talk, things are not as they may seem. Several years ago the mayor and his professional spokesman were on the front page of the newspaper and on television patting themselves on the back that a new low-rent apartment complex would be built in Pineville right next to our subdivision. They proudly proclaimed that they considered this to be economic development.

I'm not a genius but the "economic" and potential crime impact of this development was not going to be positive at all. The immediate concern to me and other neighbors was people being able to walk into our backyards from the complex. I voiced my concern to our proud mayor and was told that they would get right on it. I wrote letters asking to please, at least, make sure a fence was put up. I was promised something would be done. Unfortunately, I did not have the glare of the spotlight to get the mayor and his staff's attention. Two years have passed and nothing has been done.

In broad daylight on Christmas Eve my family's home was broken into, ransacked and burglarized. Two residents of the "economic development" complex were coming out of my mother's home just as I walked up. My husband and a neighbor caught one suspect after a long chase.

For the first time in my life we have a gun and soon will have a "for sale" sign on the house. Economic development is not showing up for every ribbon cutting or taking credit for every good thing that happens this side of the Red River; it is having a vision that takes into consideration the needs and safety of all the people who live here as well as being responsible to the needs of people when the media are not around. We need less image and more substance from our leaders.

Tracy Liotta

Originally published January 9, 2006