To the editor:
The Village of Mingo Junction has a property maintenance code for the expressed purpose of maintaining the public health, safety and welfare of its residents. The code mandates the integrity of residential areas by assuring the avoidance of unsightly and offensive sights that could deteriorate the property value of its citizenry.
The recent proposed revisions to the maintenance code gives much area for concern. It appears that instead of enforcing the current code, council is watering down the ordinances to conveniently allow conditions that used to be violations to now be acceptable. According to the council readings, there are changes that allow what were once violations to now be legal. These revisions will now legitimize the very conditions that the present code was trying to prevent. Council has a responsibility to enact a code to protect the property value of its residents from conditions that would cause a possible loss.
Currently the code states that no inoperative or unlicensed motor vehicles shall be stored, parked or kept on any premises. A boat is inoperative on land since it requires water to operate, and an RV, trailer or hitch are inoperative since they must be towed. To rewrite the code to allow one boat and one trailer on the side of a house is reprehensible.
It appears as though the village is pandering to the violators instead of protecting the property value of its residents. The owners of these devices should have checked the ordinances before purchasing them so they could store them legally. It is not the responsibility of the village to find a legal storage area for these vehicles. It is disingenuous to subject the open exposure of these eyesores to the public since they are owned by only 5 percent of the residents, and 95 percent of the public must endure them for 80 percent of the year.
To see the code changed to now allow what was not legally allowed is disheartening. As a past city official whose job it was to enforce these very ordinances, it is extremely disappointing. The ambivalence here is staggering since the revitalization committee was lauded as a good thing and in the same meeting the open exposure of what was disallowed is not only OK but enacted into law. I implore every resident of Mingo Junction to contact his or her councilmen to repeal this backward change and reinstate the present code or strengthen it. I had requested that if any village official is currently housing one of these vehicles, they should recuse themselves due to a conflict of interest. Mingo Junction has lost its mill, lost its jobs, lost its bank and lost its grocery store, and now we are about to lose the one thing we cannot afford to lose - its pride.