To the Editor:

On April 8, 2019, the mayor of Plymouth received a complaint concerning litter blowing onto private property and into a local stream from the Dollar General store in Plymouth. According to area media, the mayor coordinated the cleanup with the Dollar General regional manager and the cleanup was completed in about one week.

At about the same time in 2019, I submitted a similar blight complaint concerning the Watertown Dollar General store to the Town Manager’s office. 

Their litter was blowing onto Watertown property and into Steele Brook. 

In the four years since then, I have cleaned the property numerous times, as have workers from Eva Design, Taft volunteers, and members of the Parks Department. Dollar General has never made any effort to clean up the mess they are responsible for.

The effectiveness of the responses by Plymouth Mayor Merchant and Watertown Town Manager Raimo were very different. 

It is because Mayor Merchant issued an initial warning letter followed up by an official notification to Dollar General headquarters three days later. 

This “official notification” set the 20 day “clock” in motion, after which Dollar General would be fined $100 per day for noncompliance. They decided to comply.

In Watertown, Town Manager RaImo long ago provided Dollar General with the “initial warning notice” but apparently never followed it up with a “written warning notice” which would have set the 30 day “clock” in motion, after which Dollar General would have been assessed a fee of up to $100 per day for noncompliance to our local Blight Ordinance.

A Town Manager answers only to a Town Council, but a mayor must be answerable to all citizens. 

Perhaps it is time to reconsider whether a mayor might be more responsive to our town’s needs. 

Robert W Lukas


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