Property maintenance code will go to vote

Property maintenance code will go to vote

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A group wanting to repeal Jonesboro's newly approved property maintenance code have submitted enough signatures to allow registered voters to cast a ballot on the issue.

The group, Repeal Jonesboro Property Code 105-2, collected the signatures in an effort to put the measure to a vote. The group collected a total of 3,653 verified signatures, nearly 300 more than they needed.

According to the city clerk, the Jonesboro City Council will decide the details on the election in a meeting on March 1. The council can either decide to hold a special election in May or hold the election in November.

Supporters of the Repeal Jonesboro Property Code 105-2 said they are happy the citizens will get a chance to vote this time.

"We are feeling good and excited about the signatures. It just gives people a chance to be involved in the government, let them decide their future," Dan Passmore said.

The code was adopted in December when the council voted in a tie, with the deciding vote being cast by Mayor Harold Perrin.

Since the vote, supporters and opponents have been at odds over the code while the city has tried to educate residents about the code and its intent.

Opponents have expressed their concerns about the code including any infringement on their rights.

"This will let them decide their future. When the petitions were being signed we had lots of retired people jumping to sign them because they are sacred to death what could happen to their houses," Passmore said.

Citizens for a Better Jonesboro on the other hand released the following statement in support of the code, Mayor Perrin and several city officials:

Jonesboro-City Clerk Donna Jackson has verified the required amount of signatures on a petition aimed at repealing the Jonesboro Property Maintenance Code. The code, which establishes minimal standards for exterior and interior maintenance of all buildings in the city, was passed by the City Council in December with a tie breaking vote by Mayor Harold Perrin after the Northeast Arkansas Landlords Association opposed the measure. 

Dr. Gregory Hansen, Director of Citizens for a Better Jonesboro, responded Monday afternoon stating, "We respect the petition process, and now that the signatures have been verified, we will continue to organize our group as we support Mayor Harold Perrin, Police Chief Rick Elliott, Fire Chief Kevin Miller, and the Jonesboro City Council in keeping the code."

"In a short amount of time, Citizens for a Better Jonesboro has grown to include over 100 volunteers, and in the upcoming weeks, we will continue to build our campaign in an effort to set the record straight on the Jonesboro Property Maintenance Code and work hard to make Jonesboro a safer place for all residents." 

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