Corsicana — It was with interest and reflection I read Friday's story about a new beautification effort in Corsicana - joining forces with the "Keep Texas Beautiful/Keep America Beautiful" campaigns.
It was also with a sincere hope this effort is successful in doing what we have been told time and time and time again is a big problem in Navarro County - cleaning up its overall appearance.
A frequently referred to survey from several years ago (The Retail Coach) identified the city's appearance with a grade of "D" - and that's not short for "delightful" - it's the "D" that got me "grounded" as a school student.
The chamber meeting referenced in Thursday's story took place in January 2011, when newly elected president, Xavier Villarreal, asked for input from the board of directors during the board's annual retreat. The fact that beautification was mentioned as a priority of the chamber at that retreat was frequently discussed during 2011, and again in 2012 (I know this because I was a member of the chamber board until I resigned in May 2012) but nothing was accomplished.
Several years ago, a group called the "Strategic Planning Group" was formed at the request of Corsicana's then-mayor, C.L."Buster" Brown III. I recall doing an interview with the group's first two leaders - Frank Steed and Bill Spae. It was clear to that organization one of the problems Corsicana had was its appearance.
They had a simple approach - take it one step at a time to try to reach the goals the committee had set.
"Right now we're just trying to get people to stop parking in their front yards," I recall them saying in that interview that took place at the now-closed Two Doors Down coffee shop.