By EARL WATT
• Leader & Times
During the Sept. 24 Liberal City Commission meeting, Kismet resident Cecil Milhon shared his displeasure with city staff cutting his weeds and charging him for the service.
City ordinance states that if weeds grow beyond 12 inches, the city can cut them and charge the land owner without notice.
Most times, the city provides notice with a door hanger.
Comments were viewed as disrespectful toward Milhon during commissioners’ comments later in the meeting, but Harrison said those statements were taken out of context.
Mayor Dave Harrison said that Milhon approached him about the issue, and Harrison invited Milhon to the meeting.
“I shook hands and thanked him for coming,” Harrison said. “He said his piece and what he thought needed to be done. Nobody had a problem with that. The rules are for everybody, and there is a reason they are in place.”
The remarks were made when Commissioner Ron Warren revisited the weed issue during commissioners’ comments, which take place at the end of the meeting. Citizens’ comments are made at the beginning.
Harrison believed that his edited comments that were printed following the meeting made it appear as an “off the cuff” statement.
His complete satatement was, “That’s the thing that everyone needs to understand, the way the ordinance is written. Six to 12 inches, the city will notify. After that, if you can’t figure out your weeds are too tall there’s a problem there. And if you are not going to be in town every day, then you need to ask somebody to check in on them for you, when it rains.”
Commissioner Joe Denoyer then made a comment about waiting to mow until his weeds are 11-and-three-quarters-inches tall, and the room responded with laughter.
A previous story stated that commissioner Janet Willimon asked if Milhon could be notified by phone, but that was in error. It was Harrison who floated the idea of making a phone call.
“Another suggestion, someone like this that is not in town every day and say he’s not, maybe get a phone number from them and give him a call and leave it on his voicemail,” Harrison said to code enforcement officer Cory Krause. “You can’t do everything, I understand.”
The Leader & Times printed an editorial statement asking the Liberal City Commission to keep its comments professional, and Harrison did not believe that the comments made were intended to be deragatory toward Milhon or any citizen.
“You guys say thumbs up, thumbs down, and I disagree with that,” Harrison said. “I don’t think there was intent on anybody’s part toward Cecil or to make fun of anyone. We had a conversation about weeds. We all understand it, we do our best to notify them.”