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Clean Key West

Key West Mayor Jimmy Weekley has hit the ground running when it comes to implementing his vision for the city. He has set, as a primary goal, to make Key West the “cleanest little city in America.”

A city summit was convened in December 1999 that drew over one hundred elected officials, city department heads and associates, business people and residents who share the mayor’s commitment. Several committees were formed which have been meeting to bring specific proposals to the City Commission for ordinances and to department heads for immediate implementation.

The Clean City Committee has been looking at ways to provide for prompt removal of abandoned and derelict automobiles, boats and trailers, as well as yard trimmings that can ruin the look of neighborhoods, not to mention clog drains that add to storm water runoff when the rain showers come.

This blue ribbon panel of citizens has proposed that teams of elected officials and city government employees conduct periodic walking tours of neighborhoods to identify refuse and litter that needs to be picked up. Waste Management, the city’s contractor for trash pick up, has recently been distributing uniform trashcans throughout the city’s residential neighborhoods and will soon distribute in the business district. It has also provided customers with refrigerator magnets containing the phone numbers of appropriate city offices for citizens to call when abandoned vehicles or trash dumping are noticed in their neighborhoods.

Street sweeping alternatives such as street washing are being investigated, as are the numbers of newspaper boxes that proliferate in the city. Many of these have been haphazardly placed or have been abandoned and the city is looking for a remedy to this problem.

Mayor Weekley is a realist about cleaning up the city. He understands that no amount of ordinances or restrictions or trash collections can keep the city clean in and of itself. The business community and residential neighborhoods adopt these initiatives as a source of pride and every individual in the city will need to do his or her part.

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