Cumberland Times-News

October 1, 2013

Someone needs to take charge of what’s going on downtown

To the Editor:
Cumberland Times-News

— Lisa Taylor makes excellent points in her Sept. 18 letter, “Smoking downtown’s most undesirable problem.” James Zamagias, however, in the Sept. 26 Times-News, “An urgent appeal to undesirables: Repent!” seems to miss the point entirely.

Ms. Taylor offers several positive ideas about how to affect good changes downtown, while Mr. Zamagias offers unwarranted attacks and no new ideas.

There is no question in my mind that banning smoking downtown would improve the dining and shopping environment.

I take offense to Mr. Zamagias’ suggestion that littering cigarettes on the mall is not a serious offense. There should be a zero tolerance policy for littering.

I agree that it would be an improvement to see more shops and restaurants on the mall, as Mr. Zamagias laments, but dodging the moving and parked vehicles on the bricks would make any further shopping or dining very difficult.

Why are business owners allowed to park in the middle of the mall? Why can’t delivery trucks go to the back doors instead of driving through the middle of people dining on the mall?  

My frustration is in the question, “Who is in charge of the mall?” If it is the mall manager, then I believe Mr. (Ed) Mullaney needs to take greater control of the bad habits of those who give the mall a bad reputation.

Take a stand against littering and smoking. Do something about the rotting fruit from the trees. Start handing out fines to those who park and drive on the bricks.

Bring back the benches that allow for people to relax and enjoy the beautiful mall. Put more emphasis and focus on the physical elements of the mall instead of having a one-man band perform on every downtown street corner every day.

I love Downtown Cumberland. It is unfortunately the ideologies of people like Mr. Zamagias who believe that downtown’s beauty can shine through the clouds of cigarette smoke that really make me sick to my stomach.

 Tammy Sheally

Cumberland