It's time to vote yes! We have a golden opportunity to actually do something to improve our community.

Having lived in Oklahoma for nearly 70 years and lived all over the state, I can tell you we live in the most beautiful part of Oklahoma. That beauty is too often overshadowed by the blight of litter along our roadways. Sadly, we are on our own to take steps to change that situation.

I've written many letters, made calls and emailed governors, representatives, Keep Oklahoma Beautiful, lieutenant governors and others, imploring them to take action against litter. I've received very polite bureaucrat/politician-type responses - "thanks for writing with your views" - from each one. No action followed. So, we must take action on our own. "Stash your trash" or "Don't lay that trash on Oklahoma" are nice slogans, but they don't get the job done.

Now our local leaders have put forth a plan - it's called a tax, but let's call it an entry ticket. To get into our little part of paradise you buy a ticket that will help let others know about this region and all it has to offer. But more importantly, in my view, a good portion of that resource (25%) will go directly to litter abatement and road beautification. That will generate some action. You don't have to go far to see the need and imagine the benefits. What if we could invite friends and relatives to come and visit and not have them comment on the litter? That would be great.

Bottom line is, we need to vote "yes" for the proposition. Let's show the rest of the state how it's done, by taking care of our own backyard. On Feb. 9, do your part, take a few minutes and go to the polls and make your mark to support the proposition to beautify our already beautiful area.

Robert Lee is a retired social worker with interests in history and politics. He writes a column for the Tahlequah Daily Press.

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