Opponents of property maintenance code submit signatures for ballot issue

Opponents of property maintenance code submit signatures for ballot issue

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Attorneys representing a number of residents who want to repeal Jonesboro's Property Maintenance Code announced the number of signatures they have gathered in an effort to allow voters to cast ballots on the issue in May.

The group, Repeal Property Code 105-2 collected 5,034 signatures to allow for a vote.

"Obviously because we have got so many signatures it is something people simply did not agree with. The people had made that known to the city council and the mayor and they chose to go with it anyway," Attorney Travis Story said.

On Dec. 15, 2015, the Jonesboro City Council, with the deciding vote cast by Mayor Harold Perrin, approved a property code ordinance that applies to all properties within city limits. Click here for more on the ordinance.

Since the ordinance was passed, several people have come out on both sides of the issue. Repeal Property Code 105-2 has been collecting signatures to allow people to vote on the issue while another group, Citizens for a Better Jonesboro, have been fighting for the ordinance.

"We presented the petition to anyone who was willing to consider signing. The petition contained all the information that we were seeking to do which is simply to repeal the property code," Story said.

Citizens for a Better Jonesboro, created by Dr. Gregory Hansen, is a "ballot committee to combat an intentional misinformation campaign and a distorted view of a new Jonesboro city ordinance concerning property maintenance.

"The code allows steps and procedures to prevent condemnation, and I think that is the most important part of it," Hansen said. "It is really a protective device."

Hansen said he created the committee "because I've encountered numerous residents with unfounded fears about the property maintenance code."

"Nobody is going to come around in a patrol car and start invading your house and saying there are major problems," Hansen said. "It is all based on if there is a problem and a complaint comes up then the code enforcement has some sort of standard to come in and take a look at what can be remedied."

The city of Jonesboro will also hold a series of public meetings to educate the public about the ordinance. Both will be held Wednesday, Feb. 17.

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