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Jonesboro Committee shoots down proposal to send code to voters

The Jonesboro City Council’s Finance Committee has defeated an ordinance that would sent a controversial property maintenance code to the voters.  Alderman John Street proposed placing the Jonesboro Property Maintenance Code on the March 1 Primary last week.  Last night, during a special meeting of the Finance Committee, the proposal was shot down by a 3-2 vote.  If passed, the entire City Council would have to have passed it by a 2/3 margin.  Then, it would have to go to the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office by December 17 to place it on the ballot.  Some who support the code told the council last night they were concerned that if the code went to vote, it would be voted down; that is because of the controversy that surrounds the proposed code.  Supporters say the code would help keep property values high and would help in eliminating dilapidated buildings in Jonesboro.  Opponents say they like the exterior parts of the code, but are concerned about the interior requirements of the code, as well as the possibility of code enforcement officers from Jonesboro entering into homes.  Alderman Street says he believes the citizens of Jonesboro have a right to decide the future of the code and has vowed to try to “walk it on” to the next city council meeting, which takes place December 1.  That means, he will request the entire council consider the measure.  The council will then decide if it wants to hear the proposal.