By THERESA VASQUEZ
Special to the PRESS
As he gingerly drives along South Padre Island’s Laguna Boulevard in his city-issued white Ford pick-up truck, Environmental Health Director Victor Baldovinos turns his head to the right and to the left, peaking through the truck’s open windows as he stares up and down the side streets searching for overgrown and un-kept lots.
Down one such street off of Laguna, his trained eye somehow spots a landowner who is single handedly attempting to bring his vacant lot to code. The landowner’s name is Joe Martin. As he trims a mesquite tree, he shares a few words and smiles with Baldovinos, and explains that despite the toil, he understands his responsibly as a landowner. In recent weeks, he and other property owners on the Island received a tactfully stated letter from Baldovinos explaining that the city has launched what is being called the “I heart SPI” campaign, touted as a positive, rather than forceful, approach at getting lawnmowers to maintain their easements and lots.
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