Police chief refutes rumors of residential break-ins at Winfield
By TRISHA PHELPS
Mt. Pleasant News
WINFIELD — The most interesting points of the Winfield City Council meeting Monday night came during the various reports and comments.
In the police report, Officer Dean Walter did his best to lay some rumors to rest.
“Contrary to popular belief, we have not experienced a rash of residential burglaries,” said Walter.
According to Walter, there have been several calls from telemarketers trying to sell home protection services by telling callers that there have been several burglaries in their area. As a result of the telemarketing calls, the Winfield Police Department has received multiple calls asking why nothing has been done about the burglaries. Walter assured everyone that there has not been a surge of break-ins, and that this is just a selling tactic used by telemarketers.
The current library director, Mike Thomas, reported to the council that a new director has been found, allowing Thomas to return to retirement.
“We have a new library director. Her name is Claire Matthews. She will be starting Aug. 5. I will work with her for a few days and stay as long as she needs me to help her, and then I will be done,” said Thomas.
According to Thomas, Matthews has a masters degree in library science as well as experience.
In old business, Mayor Chris Finnell informed the council that he is continuing to look into ways of cleaning up properties in town.
“I would love for people to drive though this town and the comment to be ‘What a nice clean town Winfield is.’ I don’t think it gets said very often,” said Finnell. “I really think we need to work hard, and I think we need to support it as a council and as a city government. As much as people don’t like it, it doesn’t have to be the Taj Mahal, but pick it up. Keep it somewhat clean, especially the garbage. We provide for hauling garbage away and it can’t be that hard to do.”
Finnell also told the council that he is continuing to look into some type of way to force people to clean up possible dangerous buildings.
“I did talk to the department of public health about some of the dangerous buildings and what we can do, “ said Finnell. “The lady I spoke to said what we can do is make a list of properties that we feel there is a concern about and specific issues, like the fecal matter going out into the yard and things like that. We need to have actual specific issues that we can give them that they need to investigate.
“I also talked to her about this renters permit and she did say that there is not a lot of smaller communities in the area that have it, but that Burlington does,”Finnell continued. “I talked to her a little more about it and she said that if we can get Joe Buffington on board maybe it can be a countywide program where everybody that rents property for housing would have to have these inspections done. I know there is a lot of people that don’t like the idea, but I think for the landlords who are taking care of their business it wont be an issue for them. It is the ones that aren’t taking care of business that are going to have problems, and that is the idea actually.”
The council also:
• Heard a report from the Des Moines County Regional Solid Waste Commission
• Heard a report on the Douglas building
• Heard the first reading and waived the second and third readings of the ordinance to place a stop sign on the intersection of East Pine and South Maple.
• Agreed to put the animal ordinance on the agenda for the next council meeting.
The next meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 12, at City Hall.