Chancellor orders resident to work on furlough in order to address litter code

Billy Joe Miller returned to stand in front of Chancellor John Rambo Wednesday morning in a follow-up to being found in civil contempt last week. Now Miller has been sentenced to jail to work until he has successfully cleaned his property.

Code Enforcement Officer Jay Cook said Miller received specific measures in order to alleviate the violation during his court appearance on Tuesday, May 28.

“Rambo informed Miller that he did not make the clean up a top priority as he had ordered, and because of that he was sentenced to jail to work on furlough until the property becomes compliant,” Cook said. “Miller was ordered to clean the property and upon completion would purge himself of contempt.”

Wednesday’s decision comes on the heels of other court decisions over the past few weeks, as city and county governments are trying to find ways to alleviate unsightly litter and other trash in communities.

“Most of the properties that are brought to my attention are in violation of the county’s Litter Resolution,” he said. “They are reported by neighbors and other citizens that find the property to be a nuisance.”

The resolution went into effect in 2017, allowing citizens to receive 30-day warnings about litter on their property. Those found to be in violation can even contact Cook in order to figure out a remedial plan in order to more easily become compliant.

“We in the planning office, myself in particular, do not want to force court on anyone,” Cook said. “I do not want people to have to pay court fees and appear before the chancellor over a property nuisance that can be easily remedied by cleaning the property.”

Despite this, however, Cook said the ultimate responsibility for cleaning up the property rests with the property owner, and if the commission receives enough complaints, they need to act.

“This matter is taken very seriously in our office and by county officials,” he said. “I do my best to take complaints and do everything I can to get properties in compliance, but the ultimate responsibility lies with the property owner, and unfortunately, today’s events can be the outcome.”

Local news

Local judge, kindergarten teacher, and realtor compete for Dancing with the Tri-Cities Stars

Local news

Elizabethton Police seek public’s help in theft investigation

Local news

Lakeside Concert Series lineup announced

Local news

Roan Mountain State Park weekend activities

Local news

ETSU, Walters State offer transfer pathway for computing students

Local news

Roan Mountain Summer Concert series features area musicians

Local news

Watauga Genealogists will  meet June 4 at JC Library

Local news

TWRA Memorial Day weekend boating report

Local news

UETHDA announces energy assistance outreach for June

Local news

SAHC announces new South Yellow Mountain Preserve

Community

Isaac Whitehead Family plans reunion June 2

Arrests

Johnson City man arrested for aggravated assault at local hotel

Local news

Tennessee to offer free diapers through Medicaid, CoverKids

Local news

Decoration Day planned for June 8 at Lyons Cemetery

Local news

Shell Family Reunion planned Saturday

Local news

Memorial Day ceremony honors Carter Countians killed in military conflicts

Arrests

Johnson City man arrested for second-degree murder in stabbing incident

Local news

Memorial Day weekend sees slight drop in Tennessee gas prices despite high travel volume

Local news

Northeast Community Credit Union selects 2024 William L. Armstrong Scholarship recipients

Local news

Elizabethton student receives prestigious Distinguished Tennessean Scholarship

Local news

RM resident graduates from Maryville College

Calendar

Community Calendar

Local news

Farmers Market opens June 4 with new items, old favorites

Local news

A Life Lived: Wayne Peters was  a humble man and kind person