A challenge from the Marion Country Club board to Marion City Council turned into a challenge to the board itself when a third party defended an area man’s right to have ugly property.
David Mayfield spoke to council first, representing the country club board. He complained of the property neighboring the club, 103 Ashley Dr., saying not only was it unsightly to visitors, but it violated city ordinances.
Tracy Carolyn, owner of TC’s Whatnot Shop, stepped in to defend Victor Buckner, the property owner who she said was on vacation for two weeks.
“I know Vic’s yard’s a mess, you know Vic’s yard’s a mess, it’s been a mess since I moved here eight, nine years ago,” she said. Then, she turned to Mayfield and the rest of the contingent representing the country club and spoke directly. “If you guys don’t like it, build a fence.”
Carolyn didn’t state what her relationship to Buckner was.
“He’s busting his butt,” she continued. “If you need your little property to look perfect, build a fence.”
“I don’t wanna hear it,” Mayfield told her. “If you wanna have the city build a fence, talk to them, not me.”
Mayfield had told council it was “obvious there’s a commercial operation going on” despite the area being zoned residential. He implied that Buckner was using the space as a junkyard. He asked what the city planned to do, and what a timeline would be for the cleanup.
Mayfield said the country club hosts 14 tournaments, the first of which is April 12. Mayfield asked the city what they could do, and whether it’d be possible to clean the mess in time for the April 12 tournament.
“I don’t think you can go to any golf course in the state of Kansas, public or country club, that has that kind of blight at the entrance to their course,” Mayfield said. “It’s also the entrance to the city of Marion, so I think the council should really take note, that it reflects exactly what our city looks like. It’s the first thing you see, and it’s probably the last thing you’re going to remember.”
The council took no action, but said it would look into possible solutions when City Attorney Susan Robson returned from vacation.
Carolyn acknowledged that the property isn’t in good shape.
“It needs cleaned up, but I mean, come on,” she said. “I read in the paper about stuff going on last week, and just thought, ‘You know what, you people wanna bitch about everybody else, but nobody wants to do anything to help them.’”
This prompted a response from Police Chief Tyler Mermis.
“Watch your language,” he said.
“That’s not a curse word,” she said to him, softly.
“Watch your language,” he repeated.
In other business:
- Council approved an increase in water rates of $1.25 per 1,000 gallons, making the rate $4.37 per 1,000 gallons used.
- City Administrator Roger Holter said the city would be enlisting HBT Productions to create a mobile app for the city.
- The city renewed its insurance policy with EMC Insurance via Case and Son Insurance, with the exception of its Worker’s Compensation program, which it will now administer through the Kansas Municipal Insurance Trust.
- The city approved a policy that allows city crews to work outside city limits as a way to earn extra income for the city. Council agreed to come up with mileage and time limits for how far crews can go and for how long the jobs they take on can take.