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Posted on January 8, 2021 at 3:05 PM by Melissa Hardegree
Since I began serving Lawrenceville as Mayor, I have been
asked many common and some less common questions that have taken even me by
surprise. It's my responsibility as the Mayor to educate the public on what I
actually can and cannot do. Here are a couple of hints. I cannot get your son
out of jail! No, I cannot pardon
your speeding ticket. No, I can’t perform your wedding ceremony!
In this, my very first Mayor’s
Blog, I will attempt to answer several of these questions. There is a story
or two behind each one. If anything on “Mayor Still’s Top 10 Questions List” surprises
you, that's good because there are plenty more. Over the next year, I look
forward to using this blog as a way to continue to answer your questions and to
communicate information that is important to the City and to me personally. So send me your burning questions! I’ll do my
best to give you the most accurate response I can and hopefully make you smile
at the same time.
1. Can you get my son out of jail?
A Mayor cannot give someone a “get out of jail
free card” as you can in Monopoly. Well, not mayors who follow the law at
least. I receive hundreds of letters from moms, sisters, and even some inmates.
As moved as I become, the only thing I can do is pass the request to the
Sherriff or others in charge and request they check into the situation.
2. Can you perform the marriage ceremony for my
fiancé and me?
State law does not allow a Mayor to perform
marriage ceremonies. Honestly, I would be one of those mayors who would require
couples to go through marriage counseling before the wedding. Though, I’m not
sure I have had enough training for that! However, after 37 years of marriage
to my wife, I do have some good ideas on how to make it work.
Can I ride my bicycle or walk outside during a
State of Emergency?
During the most recent State of Emergency, I
received many questions, as many of us had never lived through such a time. The
rumors were rampant! It was refreshing that citizens wanted to be sure they
were obeying the law. My response to this question was, “Feel free to enjoy
life and ride your bicycle, occasionally without hands! Just keep your eyes
4. Should I pay for my speeding ticket?
I always smile when someone asks this question
and promptly respond with “pay the ticket." Last I looked, the Mayor does
not have the authority to remove a speeding ticket, but the judge might. Try
giving our new City Judge a call next time.
5. Can you get me a job with the City?
If you don’t want a salary the answer is probably
yes! If you want to be paid for your work, then you will have to go through
Human Resources at City Hall. The City Council and Mayor manage one employee on
staff and that’s the City Manager.
6. Can you fix my pothole?
You don’t want me to personally try to fix your
pothole, but I promise to inform our staff of the problem and get back to you
with an estimate of how fast they can fix it.
This was one of the first questions I received and you will never guess
from whom. My Mom!
help me get my unemployment check?
The State Government is a tad bigger than the
City of Lawrenceville, so there is little we can do with this request except guide
you to the right people. From what I remember, those in charge of disbursing
the state's gold, work under the golden dome of the State Capital.
8. Can you tell my neighbor that she has too
Yes, but before you go barking at your neighbor,
make sure you know what kind of bite the City can bring. Once we had a resident
who ran a dog breeding business in their backyard. There were 28 dogs found! By
City ordinance within the city limits of Lawrenceville, you can only have three
dogs. Staff will not go knocking on doors to see how many dogs are in your
home, but if there are complaints, the City staff will investigate.
9. Can you tell my neighbor to stop leaving
trash in his yard?
This story really smells! The answer is yes.
There was a situation where squatters had settled into a vacant home. There was
trash strewn all over the place. Needless to say, the City had to go through
the Courts and got the problem solved.
10. Can you tell my neighbor they can’t have
chickens in their backyard?
Yes! For those who love fresh eggs, the City
only allows chickens for personal pleasure or utility on a parcel which
contains the dwelling of the owner. Make sure you know the rules in Article
II, section 200.3.45 so you don’t end up with egg on your face.
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