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Posted: October 28, 2011 12:00 a.m.

The woes of Oxford

To the editor: Some folks no longer read newspapers or even watch what passes for news on the Rupert Murdoch Fox channel. Unfortunately, this seems true of the city of Oxford's mayor and council and its response to the fact that the global economy went sour a couple of years ago.

On the day that Mayfields announced that depression times hereabouts would force their hardware and gift shop on Covington's square to close, Oxford's city fathers told of plans for a commercial center in their town of 1,200 full-time residents, which today lacks even a gas station or pizza palace.

Oxford's officials already have spent so heavily on a new two-story city hall for its 1,200 full-time residents that it gave Covington's mayor "city-hall envy." They also have added a city manager to the payroll and tacked on new janitorial and landscaping services to the tab.

Now, Oxford has cut its police force by 25 percent, apparently hoping the Newton County Sheriff's force - also said to be running short - will cover the time lost from street patrol.

The sheriff's deputies had best get at it. Thieves made off with the air conditioning unit from Old Church just the other night. Old Church is city property, right in the heart of what's called The Blessed Town's Historical District on downtown Wesley Street.

If all that's not enough, newspapers report from Washington that the Oxford Post Office may be under threat of closure and from Atlanta that urban thugs are moving east.

It's unfair to blame the mayor and council for all of the above without sharing some of the onus with the city's full-time residents. We seldom show up at council meetings, much less speak out against the council's dysfunctional policies, operations and airy dreams for a big-town future on a small-town budget.

Claude Sitton
Oxford

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