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The Daily Tar Heel

All signs point to dirty: Mayoral candidate Cho needs to clean his highway

After adopting a stretch of a Chapel Hill highway, mayoral candidate Augustus Cho isn’t holding up his end of the bargain.

Chapel Hill political candidates aren’t allowed to post campaign signs until Sept. 20.

But Cho found a clever alternative to boost name recognition: Around the time he declared his candidacy, he adopted a mile of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and had his name posted under the “Adopt-a-Highway” sign.

Cho certainly gets kudos for finding a convenient loophole to get his name out, especially because it involves community service.

The problem, though, is that Cho’s stretch of MLK Blvd. has only been cleaned once in the four months since he adopted it.

The area around his sign is littered with plastic bottles, empty cigarette cartons, pink tissue paper, classified ads, a cardboard box and various other debris.

There is no problem with using a community service activity to simultaneously serve another purpose. It happens all the time — for tax write-offs, resume fodder or just plain enjoyment.

In this case, a mayoral candidate who struggles with name recognition posted his name under a community service sign. Creative and clever.

But the use of this loophole comes at a price: Keep the adopted highway clean!

It is understandable that any working person or student — especially somebody running for mayor — has little time to spare. Many would be hard-pressed to clean up a stretch of highway even once per month.

However, candidates for public office are held to a higher standard. They must lead by setting the example for others to follow, even in matters as trivial as keeping a mile of highway free from litter.

 Cho must not risk dirtying his image by allowing trash on his section of MLK Blvd. to pile up unchecked.

If not, he can throw away his chances of winning the mayoral race.

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