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Newton 'not getting the job done'

February 16, 2011

Collapsed buildings, household garbage and unlicensed vehicles filled with trash clutter a property on Newton's North Ashe Avenue.
It isn't the only city property with violations of Newton's nuisance and abandoned vehicle ordinances, but Worth Arnold Jr.'s residence did seem to be a final straw for the city's mayor.
"We have talked for two or three years about code enforcement in the city. We are not getting the job done," said Newton Mayor Robert Mullinax. "When we let neighborhoods or area property go down, it reflects on the entire city, and it permeates into other areas. We must stop that ... We can not continue to let our city run down."
The city's code enforcement is among topics that Newton leaders will discuss during its annual planning retreat starting Thursday. A code enforcement report and discussion on city's enforcement program are set to open the Friday morning session of city leaders' open meeting at Newton City Hall.
This isn't the first time Newton officials have tried to tackle the task of cleaning up nuisance properties - it has been a topic during budget discussions and planning workshops in years past, as well.
"I have listened to it enough," Mullinax said. "I defend the city of Newton when citizens call me about the things we do day-in and day-out. The area where I am defenseless is code enforcement."

Newton's 2011 Planning Workshop schedule:
• 8:30 a.m.- noon – Finance Department
• Noon- 1p.m. — lunch "on your own"
1 - 1:45 p.m. — Finance Department
1:45-3:30 p.m. — Public Works and Utilities
3:30 - 4 p.m. — Voluntary Agricultural Districts
4- 5 p.m. — Information systems

8:30 - 9:15 a.m. — Code Enforcement
9:30 - 11:30 a.m. — Public Safety
11:45 a.m. — 1 p.m. — Administration


To Lee Harper

February 17, 2011 by Backbone (not verified), 4 years 15 weeks ago
Comment: 166

Yeah..What she said!

Who they wantin to keep off the grass in the cemetary...the zombies?


February 17, 2011 by LeeHarper (not verified), 4 years 15 weeks ago
Comment: 165

Why would you give out a persons name and address as the "sole" issue in Newton when there are more noticeable and higher profile properties that go against the code?

This is a fundamental observation. If you want to attract people to downtown Newton get on the property owners who have windows falling out of their buildings, boards over the front doors, falling plaster that does poise a hazard, and other nuisances in the core area. Next and this is a new approach to Newton...have city government be friendly, inviting, and willing to foster new business. Newton is a cold and hateful place...look at all of the mean signs erected by the city. "Keep off the Grass" at the city run cemetery just baffles me. Next and this is a biggie...reduce the cost of having a business here. Reduce the downtown area tax that really hasn't produced much. Artist Cafe and the OPOP (whatever it is called) wasn't brought here by the downtown development efforts so please do not take credit for those. Reduce taxes, make the downtown warm and friendly, and people will come and visit. They will stay if they see what they like. New Residents = new jobs which = new tax base which ultimately equals a new shiny fire engine to waste tax dollars on.

Praise for Bob

February 16, 2011 by Backbone (not verified), 4 years 15 weeks ago
Comment: 148

Mr. Mayor:
Good Job for taking notice anf getting moving on this most evident problem, shame it has taken so long!

Only issue I have is that of Mr. Arnold's privacy rights. Was it really necessary to call him out in this venue?

Public humiliation is not a wise course of action. It is the electronic equivalent of being placed in the "stocks".

Now while we are at it, lets clean up the "Latin Quarter" of Newton around 20th street and get that stupid looking TACO TRUCK shut down.

Just out of curiosity I stoped to get a taco, it was so filty I would not feed it to my dog.

Lets get on the ball folks!

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