City holds first of several town hall meetings on maintenance code

City holds first of several town hall meetings on maintenance code
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A town hall-style meeting over the Jonesboro Property Maintenance Code Monday night lasted more than two hours.

The Jonesboro Property Maintenance Code passed during a city council meeting in December but it could be repealed next month.

Despite that fact, the city is still working to educate residents on the code.

Monday night, many in attendance said they felt too much of the code was left up to interpretation.

"Everything keeps going back to clauses and clauses and interpretations," one resident commented. "That's where we want black and white."

Many said while they don't feel that current city employees would abuse the code, they were afraid of how it might be interpreted in the future.

"That scares us a lot," another resident said. "We're just asking you to take another look at this. Make it more specific. Don't leave so many open holes in here."

City Attorney Carol Duncan, who was on hand to answer questions, stated that any law is subject to abuse.

"But if we figure out that a police officer is abusing the law, he is not being fair to one group or another group or he's doing something that's an abuse of the law, we don't get rid of the law; we get rid of the police officer," Duncan said. "That's how I feel about this code. If we find that it's not being fairly interpreted or fairly implied, you don't have to get rid of the code, you have to get rid of the person who's doing the application."

Lt. Todd Nelson of the Jonesboro Police Department Quality of Life Division and Chief Building Inspector Tim Renshaw were also on hand to answer questions from the public.

The city will continue to hold town hall meetings on the Jonesboro Property Maintenance Code before the city-wide vote in May.

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