MARYSVILLE – Although he personally favors a fireworks ban, Mayor Jon Nehring said he encourages citizens passionate about the issue to come to the Jan. 25 City Council meeting.
A decision could be made that night. The meeting will start at 7 p.m. at City Hall.
Nehring said he has never seen an issue polarize the community as much as this one. People seem to be strongly before or against it. At the last council meeting, new council president Kamille Norton suggested coming up with a compromise.
“You owe it to yourself to contact your council members,” Nehring said. “But the most powerful way is coming to the meeting.”
The mayor said even though it was officially just an advisory vote, almost 60 percent of those who voted in November favored a ban.
“If I won an election by that amount it would be a mandate,” he said.
At the mayor’s Coffee Klatch Jan. 14 at the Baxter Community Center, participants also discussed a number of other topics.
Redevelopment of downtown was talked about in detail.
Chief Administrative Officer Gloria Hirashima said the city is trying to attract the right kind of development.
The city realizes, “Wow, this could really be something,” she said, but the image of the area needs to change.
One thing already helping is downtown is a Stay Out of Drugs Area. Anyone with a drug background can be arrested if they are caught there.
Also, Hirashima said in March a consultant will present some ideas to the city on how to change its image.
The mayor said the city would like to develop 10 things people can do downtown.
“Then there would be all types of things for folks to enjoy,” he said.
Walking trails along the waterfront to the estuary will be constructed soon.
“It’s magnificent,” Nehring said of that nature area. People wonder, “Am I even in Marysville anymore?”
One improvement already helping downtown is the city taking over the historic Marysville Opera House.
“Marysville lacks culture. People are hungry for it,” Nehring said.
Nehring said when he first became mayor people wanted him to bring in commercial businesses so they could shop at home. Since that has happened, now people want to improve their quality of life, with parks and cultural events.
Hirashima said a new Highway 529 interchange off of Interstate 5 in the next decade will bring a new gateway to the city, which will make development along the waterfront even more attractive.
Hirashima also talked about the effort to fix up the State Avenue corridor. The old Highway 99 is mostly strip commercial, “very old and low rent,” she said. “It tends to get rundown.”
The city is doing an online poll to see what the community wants to do to improve it.
The mayor was asked about illegitimate massage parlors in town.
Police Chief Rick Smith stepped up to answer that question.
“We find it, and we root it out,” he said, adding those businesses often don’t follow code enforcement laws so police can get them to move out of town.
Another concern was pawn shops. But Smith said police have a great relationship with those businesses in town in getting stolen property.
Still another crime concern had to do with trails and homeless near Wal Mart.
While crime is down in the city overall, Smith said if crimes flare up, people need to report them so police can refocus on those areas.
“It’s a prime function of government, to drive criminals out of here,” Nehring said.