Last December, the Jonesboro City Council, with a tie-breaking vote by the Mayor, approved a new property code. This issue stirred strong emotions on both sides.
The landlords expressed concern over government overreach, right of entry, fines and claims that it will cost them more money and could make rent more expensive. The renters say the new code protects them from slumlords.
Mayor Harold Perrin enacted a 60-day moratorium before implementing the enforcement provisions of the code. That means the enforcement will not begin until March 15.
During this time, the city will develop an educational program for homeowners, renters and landlords.
The vote by the city council, the Mayor's tie-breaking vote and the moratorium were all legal.
But a group called: "Repeal Property Code 105-2," has surfaced looking to gather enough signatures to force a special election to be held on May 3, 2016.
They want to put it to a vote.
The Jonesboro City Attorney says issues regarding property codes are usually handled by city councils and if they gather the signatures, it could go to a vote.
It is unusual for a property code to make it to a public vote, but this one is so controversial that letting the public decide could be a good thing.
I think it's a good thing whenever we can let the people decide their own fate in the voting booth.
Whether it goes to a vote or not I challenge you, the voter, to dig into this yourself and remember there is hype on both sides of this issue.
Everyone outside of Jonesboro should take note. This could be your future when it comes to property codes.
Being educated on what the new property code really means, putting it to a public vote and not believing the hype from either side will make this A Better Region 8.
- Chris Conroy, KAIT VP & General Manager
Copyright 2016 KAIT. All rights reserved.