Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Attorney Meeting on Last Chance Referendum to Overturn Property Code Ordinance in Jonesboro

Mildred Bryant, 84, who lived in Pagedale, MO
for 47 years, was given 30 days to fix a dozen
violations  or face a summons.  Same
ordinance code has come to Jonesborro, AR
by Debbie Pelley: The attorney that handled the repeal of Fayetteville referendum on protected class of gays will be at Western Sizzlin (2405 E. Highland Drive) tonight at 6:00 to explain our steps to repeal Jonesboro Property Code Ordinance that the city voted on December 15. We need all your help. Only the people who are registered voters can sign the petition, but anyone over 18 can gather signatures.

Anything we can do to thwart the government regulations in any place is a worthy cause because what comes to Jonesboro will come to other cities if they are not stopped. This would be a good time for any of you in any city to come and learn about the referendum process because any of you might need it at any time. I thought for a couple of days the referendum was off but this attorney has been very patient with us and encouraging.

In 18 days in Fayetteville they got 5,800 signatures, and we still have over 30 days and we can do it; we just have to have something over 3,000.

If you can be at Western Sizzlin tonight, please let me know by text or by email (dpelley@suddenlink.net). Western Sizzlin asked us to let them know if we were having more than 28. But if you don't know if you can come or not please come anyway. I just checked with Western Sizzling and they said they had room for more but just wanted to be prepared with enough food.

Thanks to one of our conservative AR senators for finding the article below. I am including only excerpts. You may hear other horrific unbelievable stories tonight. If not, I will send them to you tomorrow. Link to entire article!
City's 'nitpicky' fines for tree stumps, blinds trigger civil rights lawsuit [Excerpts Only]

National battle against governments using 'citizens as ATMs'

Valarie Whitner, 57, has lived in the St. Louis suburb of Pagedale for nearly two decades, at first without any major brushes with the city government.

But then, the tickets started arriving in the mail. For tree stumps in her yard. For not filling the recycling bin to the brim. For chipped paint. It seemed no infraction was too small to escape the scrutiny of fine-happy officials.

Whitner was even forced to re-paint her two-story home three times in five years, to satisfy the city. It turns out she wasn't alone.

Many Pagedale residents have been hammered with fines for various so-called infractions in recent years. Aggressive code inspectors are hardly unusual these days, but Pagedale homeowners allege they've been treated to a particularly brazen brand of enforcement - and have banded together to sue the city in federal court, in a civil rights case that's getting national attention.

According to Joshua House, an attorney at the institute, Pagedale has issued 495 percent more property and miscellaneous citations since 2010.

"This is a common 'policing for profit' scheme that we see across the country—governments using their citizens as ATMs," House told Fox News."...The city is so financially dependent, and because of that dependency, they have an incentive to find nitpicky violations and convict people for them."

This case, according to House, is opening a new front in a national battle against aggressive municipal enforcement.

These encounters became so frequent that when asked by a local reporter about her case, she was able to furnish a bag of 33 citations.

"The city is punishing people who haven't done anything wrong. It's all aesthetics and within people's homes," House explained. He said the class-action case contends "that the entire system unconstitutionally incentivizes the city to ticket, convict, and fine people."

A city attorney told The New York Times that the fines have "nothing to do with driving up revenue" and "everything to do with making the properties code compliant and safe." - [ I believe safety is referred to 54 times in Jonesboro Property Code]
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Debbie Pelley is Retired Arkansas Teacher of 27 years. She is presently a grassroots citizen activist, researcher and writer who advocates for Arkansans and for transparent and limited government. She is a contribution author on the ARRA News Service. and this site.

Tags: Debbie Pelley, Jonesboro, Arkansas, referendum to overturn, property code ordinace To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

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