Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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sShane Archambault: Opposes South Hadley’s ‘Good Neighbor Bylaw proposal

To the editor:

South Hadley’s “Good Neighbor Bylaw” is the ironic title of a proposal now being reviewed by town government. But who exactly is the “good neighbor” it describes?

For those not aware, the bylaw calls for residents of South Hadley to put aside their busy schedules and make time to perfect their home and yard’s appearance so they may not offend their neighbors and face a $100, yes, a $100 fine.

To put this into perspective, let’s compare this $100 fine to the $100 fine you would face for texting and driving. Apparently not keeping grass in your lawn under 12 inches makes you as irresponsible as someone who endangers themselves and those around them on the road with their reckless behavior.

And who exactly is the good neighbor? The person calling and complaining?

I’m pretty sure that if I was an elderly or disabled citizen, and someone knocked on my door handing me a $100 ticket, the last thing I would do would smile and thank the lord I had such a “good” neighbor.

So here’s a proposal of my own: If you really have enough spare time to be offended by your neighbor’s lawn, how about you be the good neighbor?

If you have enough time to call and complain, then surely you have enough time to go over and ask them if they need a hand.

I would much rather live in a town of people learning to help each other instead of tattle like a bunch of preschoolers. I would rather live in a town where people stepped off their pedestals of high expectations and learned maybe everyone isn’t as well off as they are.

So take this opportunity to really be a good neighbor, tell our town what you really think about this ridiculous proposal.

Shane Archambault

South Hadley

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