Neighborhoods in Distress?


Tony Bazemore

Everyone knows the key to a good neighborhood is to have happy residents. Residents would be happy if their neighborhood is clean, has access to public infrastructure, low crime, and is taken care of by the correct departments.

However, in many areas in New Castle County, neighborhoods have been neglected for years examples like median grass not being cut, fallen branches not being picked up, repairs to roads, sidewalks, bus stops, lights, & neighborhood signs not being completed.

This makes you think, year after year these problems go untouched, but why is that? is it a broken chain of command? Are the reports of these issues not being passed to the correct people to get them fixed?

One neighborhood that's good for this is "Wilton" Located on Route 40 by the Walmart (sometimes dubbed "The Wilton Walmart") has been in neglect for countless years, Trash build-up, bus stops that were destroyed by car accidents and never replaced, Median grass not being cut or weed-whacked so the grass is almost as tall as a toddler & the most annoying thing is the "Wilton" sign it has been destroyed by car accidents at least 3-4 times in a span of 4 years. From drunk drivers hitting it to people crashing into it during snowy weather no one has thought of moving the sign to a different area.

Now the space with the sign sits empty just with the support that used to hold the sign, and it has been like that for at least 3 years now. no excuse for the Councilman who runs this area, George Smiley.

I contacted Mr.Smiley and told him about the issues of Wilton & how I would love to get a landscape company out there to clean up the area, his response to me was

"Just as an FYI, I have and continue to clean up many areas of Wilton without assistance. I have no authority to authorize you or anyone else to place landscaping on State or community open space."

Interesting since nothing in Wilton has changed for many years.

I then told him that many areas specifically on the BLVD Have not been taken care of in years, His next response.

"I have collected carts, cleaned storm drains, trim bed, and hauled away tree branches hanging over the sidewalk. Etc. there is nothing one small section that is county property the rest is the private property of the adjacent community."

"Some years ago I and ordered assisted in the formation of the Wilton Alliance which was headed by Ms.Joanne Holbert of Maple Hill."

Interesting enough I or no one else has seen Mr. George Smiley ever clean up Walmart carts, Storm drains, Landscape beds or fallen tree branches.

I have only seen DELDOT come and pick up Fallen tree branches after a storm nothing else.

He also speaks about A Wilton Alliance basically an HOA which no resident in Wilton knows about or have I ever heard about, it seems there is a bit of confusion when it comes to neighborhoods and the New Castle County.

I am sure this is happening in many neighborhoods across the county, and it is up to the community to hold the people who are in charge of this accountable

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