Lepanto mayor vetoes elimination of code enforcerment officer

Friday, February 24, 2017

Last month, the Lepanto City Council voted to eliminate the position of code enforcement officer, which is currently held by Alderman Charles Mahan. During this month's meeting Tuesday night, Mayor Dale Dunlap said he had vetoed the resolution to dissolve the position and was keeping Mahan on as code enforcement officer.

Dunlap said he felt he hadn't explained well last meeting how much work Mahan has done in the position. He said he had a stack of papers Mahan has served to people, including some the council mentioned last month that they thought had not yet been served. "He's not showing favoritism," Dunlap said.

Alderman Sarah Case expressed concern that residences which have been given citations are still not cleaning up. Police Chief Chad Henderson said many times people will go to court, get on a payment plan for their fine, and pay the bare minimum of the fine without cleaning up their property. "I think we may need to re-look at the ordinance and make it stiffer," he said.

"I think that's the problem," Mayor Dunlap said. "The fine's not stiff enough to get their attention."

Case also brought up an incident at the park where a child was hurt on a swing. According to Rhonda Ward, who was in the audience, the swing's chain broke, the child suffered a sprain, and was taken to the emergency room. Dunlap said the swing would be repaired rather than replaced, and Case said the swings need to be checked regularly by the city.

The council also approved a proposal to purchase a digital radio system for the fire department using Act 833 funds.

There was also discussion about the cemetery ordinance which specifies that gravestones must be flat in the new section to make it easier to mow. A gravestone put in since that ordinance went into effect is flat but not even with the ground. City clerk Tamara Wyatt pointed out that the ordinance does not specify stones must be ground level. The council will review the ordinance next month to see if changes should be made.

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