Ordinance establishes public access to parks


August 14, 2012

MASON — At the most recent meeting of the Town of Mason Council, council members held the first reading of a new ordinance.

The new ordinance came about from a concern regarding vagrancy in the park and municipal areas, which was first brought to the council’s attention around the end of June. This new ordinance will establish the hours of public access to parks and grounds surrounding or adjacent to municipal buildings. Mayor Mindy Kearns stated the hours established by the ordinance will be 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Kearns stated the town couldn’t pursue vagrancy laws since they were considered to be too narrow, which lead the council to this ordinance giving an opening and closing time to the park and other local areas.

Kearns continued, saying if there are violations of this ordinance, they can now legally have the violators moved. Kearns also stated the violators can be fined anywhere between $10 and $500, and could also be jailed for 30 days or less. Kearns also stated this ordinance allows the town to adjust these hours for special events held in the park, such as the recent catfish tournament which began before 6 a.m.

The first reading of this ordinance was approved with a first from Councilman Nick Northup and a second from Councilwoman Michelle Pearson. Motion carried. Kearns said the ordinance will be in place second reading of the ordinance will most likely be sometime next week and the ordinance will be in place following the second reading.

Also at the meeting, Councilman James Pauley made a motion to accept the resolution approving the change of control of the cable television franchise with Suddenlink. Kearns stated the current company, Cequel Communications, is selling to Nespresso Acquisition Corporation, both of which do business with Suddenlink. The motion received a second from Councilwoman Sarah Stover. Motion carried.

In other council news, Kearns stated there were several complaints regarding tree limbs on Adams Street, a missing dead end sign on Miller Street, and complaints regarding cats on Maple Street. Kearns stated council members are compiling a list of trees that need to be cut back, as well as handling the other concerns. It was also stated at the meeting that council members are still waiting for negotiations from the Clifton United Methodist Church regarding the building located near the town hall.

Council also discussed the police radios being updated, on which Kearns stated there was no new information. Councilwoman Pearson also is working on having the band “Remember Then” rescheduled and is setting the date for Oct. 13 for the Fall Harvest Festival.

Also making personal appearances were Larry Daniel and Donna Vickers. Daniel wanted updated on the Senior Citizens building and also stated the stop sign on Front and Center Streets is missing.

The minutes from the previous meeting were read and accepted with a first from Councilman Pauley and a second from Councilwoman Stover. Several bills were also presented and accepted for payment with a first from Councilman Northup and a second from Councilwoman Pearson.

In addition to Kearns, council members present were James Pauley, Nick Northup, Michelle Pearson, Sarah Stover and Recorder Deann Russell. Absent was Marty Yeager.

The town of Mason Council will meet again at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 16, in the town hall.