To the editor:
The city of Steubenville has a lot to offer. Whether you live in the West End or on the hilltops, whether you own your home or rent, our taxes are all being spent to fund housing and the police, and we all should be safe. U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Marietta, was just here and held a meeting with city leaders to address the problem of growing crime and violence on the hilltops, especially in respect to HUD housing.
We all need help sometimes in life, and if you need assistance with housing and can find it here in our nice hilltop neighborhoods, so close to the stores and churches and parks, we are happy to have you. However, if you are taking government assistance and you are using or dealing drugs, scamming housing or allowing scammers to live with you, neglecting or abusing children, toting around illegal weapons with all the posturing and poor judgment of a 5-year-old boy, if you are able to work and not doing everything you can to find a job and not even picking up the garbage in your front lawn, you need to get help or leave.
Further, if you are a landlord, real estate agent or a bank in charge of a property up here, you owe it to your fellow man to maintain the property in your care - that's just common decency. You would probably be ashamed to treat the house next door to you the way you treat houses up here. Just because you don't have to look at it every morning doesn't mean you're not guilty of hurting your neighbors when you shirk your responsibilities.
Lastly, if you are a responsible citizen living on the hilltops, you need to contact the city or police when you see people abusing the housing system and when you see suspicious activity. They can't be everywhere all the time. You need to be more afraid of further decline here than of retaliation. Your safety depends on getting the bad elements out of here, not on keeping your mouth shut.
The city has pledged to help eliminate the fraud and crime and we're going to do everything we can to help them.