Council cuts off debate over neighbor’s shrubs

A dispute between neighbors regarding overgrown shrubbery spilled over into the Cairo City Council meeting Monday night.
Clifton Brown, 800 Madison Cir. S.W., appeared before the mayor and council to solicit the council’s assistance in dealing with an issue he is experiencing with his next door neighbor.
“I was hoping to get this done neighbor to neighbor, but it’s gotten out of hand. My neighbor is not keeping her property up and I don’t understand why she can’t keep the hedges trimmed. She says she will get them cut, but it never happens,” Brown told city councilmen this week.
According to Brown, the hedges have grown 36 inches onto his property. He says he suffers from vertigo and bad knees or he would cut back the hedges himself.
Brown says he attempts to keep his property and home looking nice, but he says his neighbor does not and it is having an impact on the neighborhood.
Mayor Bobby Burns informed Brown that city forces could not do work on private property and reminded him that there is no ordinance that requires hedges to be cut at a certain height.
Brown said the height was not the issue, but that the hedges growing over his property line was the problem.
The mayor said it was an issue between neighbors and the city had no responsibility in the matter.
Brown said since speaking to Councilman Ernest Cloud about the issue and it being discussed at the Aug. 14 council meeting reported on in The Messenger, the neighbor’s father had come last Saturday and trimmed back the shrubbery.
“If it’s been trimmed what is the issue?” Mayor Burns asked and Brown said that it had been over a year that he has asked that they be cut.
“I was hoping there was something the city could do to help,” Brown said.
City Attorney Thomas L. Lehman said that unless there is a health or safety issue the city “doesn’t have a say.”
“If that’s your answer then I’ll have to accept it. I’m so disappointed. I guess if she doesn’t keep them cut back I’ll have to hire someone to do it myself,” Brown said.

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