In the Jonesboro Sun announcement of the April 4, 2016 meeting at 6:00 p.m. in city hall chambers, it was reported that "The Jonesboro Property Maintenance Code passed in December and enacted in March." There was a story on KAIT recently that indicated the same. According to law, the city is not supposed to enact the code until after the special election vote on May 10. (You may recall from a previous email that on Friday, February 12, 2016, the group Repeal Property Code 105-2 turned in 5,034 signatures on the Referendum to Repeal the Jonesboro Property Code, more than twice as many as were required in just 22 days in the dead of winter. That number required was 2,432. It will now be put on the ballot, and people can vote for the repeal in May, 2015.)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
This morning, the attorneys for the Petitioner of the current repeal petition known as Repeal Property Code 105–2 (“Petitioner”) sent a letter to Jonesboro, Arkansas Mayor Harold Perrin calling for him, as mayor of the great city of Jonesboro, Arkansas, to publicly acknowledge that neither he, his office or anyone else within city government will pursue or continue to pursue the enforcement of the JPMC.
It is the belief of the Petitioners that Arkansas Law prohibits enforcement of an ordinance once it has been made subject to a special election under the referendum process set out in the Arkansas Constitution, and that any actions by the City, its Mayor, or City Council that would continue to pursue the enforcement of the Jonesboro Property Maintenance Code is in violation of this law.
Our attorneys drafted this letter to put the City on notice that the Petitioner would protect the residents of the City of Jonesboro if there were any illegal actions taken by the City that violate Arkansas law. It is the intent of the Petitioners to closely monitor the upcoming meeting tonight and all City Council meetings to protect the city of Jonesboro from any oppressive governmental action.
Following this Press Release is a copy of the letter that Attorney Travis W. Story of the Story Law Firm, PLLC sent to Mayor Harold Perrin this morning.
Repeal Property Code 105-2 is an Arkansas Ballot Question Committee who is the Sponsor of a repeal petition to call for and achieve the successful referendum of the Jonesboro Property Maintenance Code by submitting 585 petitions originally containing over 5,000 signatures. Ultimately, Jonesboro, Arkansas City Clerk Donna Jackson certified 3,653 of the signatures as valid, and therefore a special election was called to be held on May 10, 2016.
The text of the letter is as follows:
April 4, 2016
The Honorable Harold Perrin
Via email: email@example.com
Mayor of Jonesboro, Arkansas
300 S. Church St.
Jonesboro, AR 72401
RE: Suspension of Enforcement of the Jonesboro Property Maintenance Code.
Dear Mayor Perrin,
My name is Travis Story, and I represent Repeal Property Code 105-2 (“Petitioner”) who is the sponsor of the Repeal Petition that has been certified to repeal the Jonesboro Property Maintenance Code (“JPMC”). It is my understanding that the City of Jonesboro (“City”) has and is intending to move forward with the implementation and possibly the enforcement of the JPMC while there is a certified repeal petition pending and a special election set for May 10, 2016. While the City could continue to plan for the possibility that the JPMC will go into effect, it is incumbent upon me to make sure your office is aware of Arkansas State Law on the matter.
As Ordinance O-EN-056-2015 did not contain an emergency clause, the city is prohibited under Arkansas Law from enforcing any aspects of this ordinance until it can be ratified or struck down by the residents of the City of Jonesboro. Specifically, I would cite you and your attorneys, to Arkansas Code § 14-14-914 (d)(1) under the heading of Suspension of Force where the code says:
Suspension of Force: General Ordinance. A referendum petition on a general ordinance, or any part thereof, shall delay the effective date on that part included in the petition until the ordinance is ratified by the electors.
It is the position of the Petitioner that any action taken by the City in violation of the spirit, direction and intent of Arkansas Law is a direct violation of the residents of Jonesboro whom you have sworn to protect and serve.
Given the continued push to move forward with implementation of the JPMC, I would be remiss if I did not clearly state the Petitioners’ intent to protect the residents of the City of Jonesboro from any form of oppressive governmental actions. This is why the Petitioner has already taken the extraordinary step of gathering more than 5,000 signatures to cause the JPMC to face a repeal vote where the people can decide if the JPMC is the right decision for Jonesboro, Arkansas. Furthermore, please take notice that the Petitioner stands ready to take action to prohibit and enforce Arkansas Law as applied to this situation if the City finds it necessary to move forward with the City’s plans and continues to ignore the people it says it represents.
The Petitioners call on you, as Mayor of the great city of Jonesboro, Arkansas, to publicly acknowledge that neither you, your office, or anyone else within city government will pursue or continue to pursue the enforcement of the JPMC prior to June 9, 2016 (30 days after the May 10, 2016 special election), and only then, if the voters of Jonesboro choose to ratify the JPMC at the special election.
Please contact my office, or have your attorney contact my office, if you have any questions, need assistance, or are confused as to the state of the law calling for the suspension of any act that would attempt to enforce Ordinance O-EN-056-2015.
Travis W. Story
Carol Duncan: Jonesboro City Attorney. Via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Charles Frierson: Ward 1, Position 1. Via email: email@example.com
Gene Vance: Ward 1, Position 2. Via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Charles Coleman: Ward 2, Position 1. Via email: email@example.com
Chris Moore: Ward 2, Position 2.
Ann Williams: Ward 3, Position 1. Via email: edgecoffeehouse@
Chris Gibson: Ward 3, Position 2.
John Street: Ward 4, Position 1.
Mitch Johnson: Ward 4, Position 2. Via email: johnsons3@suddenlink.
Darrel Dover: Ward 5, Position 1. Via email: ddover@
Rennell Woods: Ward 5, Position 2. Via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Todd Burton: Ward 6, Position 2. Via email: email@example.com
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