Monticello adds parkways to owners' responsibility
MONTICELLO — Aldermen approved an amendment to Monticello's city code that requires landowners to maintain parkways adjacent to their property, most notably alleys and the areas between sidewalks and streets. It would require grass to be kept at no higher than 12 inches in height, for the parkway to be free of litter and vermin and for obstacles that would block water flow to be removed.
While Superintendent of City Services Floyd Allsop said a majority of residents keep up adjacent properties without being told, he said an ordinance was needed to give police a way to enforce it for those who don't.
"This is all prompted by someone not maintaining their boulevard," he said.
John Miller cast the lone "no" vote, saying he felt it was over-legislating a minor issue.
"I don't want us to become a nanny state, where we have to be like everybody's mommy and daddy," said Miller, a former police chief. "There's no reason why you have to legislate every little thing, and our police department is busy enough."
Council members were also asked for input on a personnel code update. Most felt pay for city workers was adequate, but a policy of no vacation for a year and only a week until they reach five years may need to be addressed.
"I do think the vacation is a little light," said Alderman Kevin Hiller. But he added, "You need to counterbalance that with the fact we're paying these guys well compared to the market."
Miller proposed adding the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. and President's Day to the list of 11 paid holidays for city employees.
"I think that would be a showing of good will to all these employees for doing such a good job, as they do every day at work," Miller said. He explained after the meeting that he had served with African-Americans both in the Army and as a police officer and chief, and felt adding King's birthday "would honor all the black veterans and officers I have worked with."
The personnel policy, last updated in 2008, will come back to the council in ordinance form later this year.