Joshua Price spoke to the Mexico City Council at its meeting Monday about the city fining residents for not mowing their lawns when the city is behind on mowing public spaces. City regulations state grass must be kept below 1-foot-tall.
“Why are we fining residents of this town at the same time the city also is struggling to cut its grass?” he asked. “Shouldn’t the city of Mexico lead by example? If the city is struggling, why are we fining residents at the same time?”
City Manager Bruce Slagle agreed with Price’s sentiments, if city’s grass height violations were as severe as those of the private residents who have been fined. “Most of those were sent out because they had not made an attempt at cutting since the beginning of the year,” Slagle said.
The inspector has been slightly more lenient this year because of the wet spring weather, Slagle said. Now that weather conditions are dryer, the inspector may return to her regular violation notice schedule, he said.
Certain park acreages are not mowed as regularly due to large parcel size or a high risk of erosion. City codes allow for delayed mowing based on specific parcel sizes, said Parks and Recreation Director Chad Shoemaker.
Council member Chris Williams agreed with Price, saying it doesn’t seem like the city is being consistent regarding grass requirements between private and public spaces.
Offenders initially receive an on-door notice and later receive a violation letter after repeatedly failing to mow their grass, said Community Development Director Rita Jackson.
“So you have people that you have waited, by the time it goes through the court system, you have people who have not mowed their grass all year, and then you have that adjoining property owner that is very upset also,” Jackson said.
Williams said that is not the impression he has received from older residents who have received a letter from the city. The letter is the first time they are notified they’re in violation, he said. Approximately 170 notices go out each week for grass violations, Jackson said. The city has documentation on letters it has or has not received, she added.
“We try to do the best we can at notifying everybody and treating everybody the same,” Slagle said. “We can check the addresses and if we are wrong we will be accountable for it.”
In other business:
Mayor Ayanna Shivers will hold her second monthly “Munch with the Mayor” 9 a.m. June 29 at Brick City Buffet and Grill.