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Consequences key to clean city, area

Tony Heidelberg admits he hasn’t been working all that hard on his new city job.

But that’s because the thought of visiting Heidelberg is clearly punishment enough for many Natchezians previously in violation of the law.

He’s a nice enough guy, we thought.

But residents who’ve received a warning about their overgrown properties, abandoned vehicles and junky yards must fear him a bit. Those offenders have been quickly correcting the problem, Heidelberg said.

Such spring cleaning saves the offender a trip to Natchez’s new environmental court, where Heidelberg is the judge.

Code enforcement officers issue citations, notifying the property owner that he or she has two weeks to correct the problem.

And it’s working.

Perhaps the folks at the Adams County Justice Court could take note and apply similar logic to thousands of dollars in outstanding fines owed to the county.

There’s been great debate in that court about how to collect the money, and it’s not clear how many of the debtors have received a simple warning that states “pay your fine or show up in court.”

Sometimes having clear consequences for bad behavior is all it takes to clean up community.