I’d like to join the number of citizens who are unhappy re: exceptions being made for property “issues”/code violations. First of all, I’d like to say I’ve met the code enforcement officer as I’ve adopted dogs from the city pound. I feel that she’s a nice young lady with an overwhelming job.

The problem I’d like to address at present has to do with lawn mowing. My son owns a house in El Do. Next to his house is a vacant house owned by someone who has multiple properties in town. In the early spring, we trailered the riding mower in to mow (we’d been by a few days earlier and the neighboring lot had been mowed once), and my son’s yard had been tagged the day before. From then on, my son’s yard was mowed regularly, while the neighboring yard continued to grow, lush, green and at least 18” tall when I called the code enforcement officer on July 20 to inquire why that hadn’t been tagged. We disagreed, so I called Mr. Rogers at City Hall and requested he take a “look-see” for himself. I suggested this yard was tall enough to bale. I understand it was tagged that day.

The rest of the summer has passed, and we got ready to mow last week, only to have a dead battery – two days later with a new battery, my son went to mow, and again, the yard had been tagged the day before – and what a coincidence – the neighboring yard had been mowed the day before – the same day my son’s yard was tagged. (My son’s grass was 4 1⁄2” tall – we measured it before mowing).

I have some health issues, as does my brother who also lives with me. After making weekly trips to Springfield since March for a hospitalized family member, we lost him on July 26. It’s been hard to keep things up and my son’s help is vital to us.

Today (Sept. 20), we got a call from the code enforcement officer stating that if a yard gets tagged more that once a season, a ticket will be issued. It is difficult for me to understand why my son’s yard is so “unlucky” when I see so many lots with much taller grass, etc., but aren’t tagged. As a matter of fact, when he mowed his yard last week, he also (at no charge) mowed a yard on Main – the backyard was much taller than my son’s yet had never been tagged.

It has been frequently suggested to me that the city choose to “overlook” or be more forgiving of violations to certain citizens. I’d hate to think that is true.

Although I live 11 mile from town on 63 acres (not all mowed), I will be happy to drive into El Do and cruise all the streets making notes of tall grass and weeks, trash, junk, disabled vehicles, unfenced swimming pools, 6’ privacy fences in front yards and any other possible code violations so I can help assist the city to overcome its reputation of “playing favorite” and enable it to live up to its high standards.

Claire Mooney

723 N Jackson 727 N Jackson

These are photographs of the two properties taken by the city on Sept. 20, 2016