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  • Writer's pictureBill Raines

Editorial : Beautification vs Safety Codes Enforcement and City Ordinances

MITCHELL - MARCH 7, 2023 - Watching government at all levels is very important for the citizens of every community to be involved in. Whether this is local, state or federal government is important for all citizens to watch, observe and participate in.


Mitchell is one of the few communities that will allow public comments and for that applaud them. Not all local governments allow a public comment period without being an agenda item or calling ahead of the meeting.



Video: Making Yards look nice and imposing large fines if you do not maintain lawns in Mitchell will cost residents in their pocket books


In fact, one former government elected leader told me personally the only time we want to hear from the public is election day and paying their taxes. Never forget it, and that local government official meant it.


I attended Mitchell City Council meeting last night to hear them impose several hundred dollar fine for lawn mowing violations, and keeping their property maintained to make the town look beautiful. " We must impose these fines to make sure the city looks nice,"


Within minutes, however the debate turned into why not impose fines and make sure a local business that have been warned one year prior to get things fixed. But the building eventually did collapse again, caused a gas leak, caused numerous businesses to close and employees went unpaid, and several blocks of residences evacuated due to a gas leak.


However, there was no fines imposed on the building owner, required engineering permits as required for homeowners who want to remodel, build new, or renovate existing homes, but not for the particular business owner.


Video: No fines imposed for a local business owner for building code and ordinance violations, this has been an issue for over one year, and under two mayoral administrations.


Sadly, local government impose ordinances to keep sidewalks to be maintained but did not require business developers to construct sidewalks to saving the developer thousands of dollars of money, such in some cases in the City of Bedford.


Should public safety come first, or should beautification efforts, why is enforcement and condemnation proceedings is easier imposed on residents of a particular resident than a business owner, or people connected to the city hall of any city or town. This situation plays out in every city or town in the United States.


I ask you to view the video of imposing $150 for grass mowing, during Mitchell City Council meeting, then take a look at more than a year and two mayors of not enforcing building code enforcement or imposing fines on business owners who are in direct violation of the City of Mitchell Code and Ordiances.


However, look at the liens and other rules and polices mailed to property owners for various code and ordinance violations throughout the City of Mitchell expecting them to be in compliance within a certain amount of time.


What say you?


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