A public hearing was held on January 28 to address an appeal from Stanton on the nuisance violations.
Several Skidmore residents attended, along with all council members and Mayor Tracy Shewey, Skidmore City Attorney Jean Maneke and Stanton. According to the meeting minutes, Stanton was offered the opportunity to present first but declined.
Maneke presented the city’s evidence of nuisance violations at 101 South Chestnut and 302 West Elm.
• Exhibit 1: Ordinance # Nuisance 2015.
• Exhibit 4: letter sent to Stanton, stating he had numerous violations of ordinance.
• Exhibit 5: appeal letter from Stanton, appealing the findings of nuisances.
• Exhibit 6: the public notice and a copy of letter to Stanton, informing him of the public hearing set up for his appeal.
• Exhibits A1- A11: pictures depicting nuisances on Stanton’s properties. Maneke asked City Clerk Laura Stark to explain items in the pictures.
Maneke brought attention to ordinance section three referring to penalties. “Each day that the nuisance is found to exist, may be punishable with a fine, per day that the violation exists.”
Maneke also stated ordinance section four which pertains to no owner shall maintain a nuisance on the property, including half of the platted city right-of-way and section 6.2 defines debris, refuse, rubbish and trash. She reviewed section 6.8 and section seven pertaining to prohibited vehicles and the abandoned vehicles definition.
Then Stanton gave his side. He presented a letter to the city council, sitting as city manager, stating in his opinion he was not in violation of the city nuisance ordinance as it was written. He also stated he asked the council several times for written specifics of what it wanted done, but he felt he was not given an actual answer and he felt the letter that he was given was vague.
It was asked if Stanton was in fact able or did read the letter sent to him, as it was felt that the violations were listed in the correspondence sent to him. It was also told to him in a meeting held with him, members of the council and the city’s previous attorney. Stanton also inquired if he put a fence up around all the nuisances, if that would abate the violations.
In closing, Maneke stated the definition of the abandoned vehicle and the definition of lumber and scrap lumber were in the ordinance given to Stanton. Maneke also stated it hasn’t been mentioned that a fence would solve the violations.
At the closed February 4 meeting, the Skidmore City Council discussed the findings of fact and order pertaining to the Stanton appeal. The council approved finding Stanton in violation of ordinance #Nuisance 2015 and to set the abatement date by February 25, 2019. A motion was made and approved to set the daily fine at $100 and to take civil court action if abatement does not occur.