Nearly 50 residents of Pleasant Hill in Cumberland County expressed a desire to be de-annexed from the town at a meeting last week. The ones expressed concerns about the town ordinances regarding burning, road conditions, building regulations and hunting that affects their private property. The de-annexation would be a long process to do and must be done according to state law. Pleasant Hill officials will look into the concerns brought up and the meeting and how best to solve them. In the meantime, Mayor Lisa Patrick encourages any citizen of Pleasant Hill with concerns to contact town hall.
In a related story, Mayor Lisa Patrick recently released a letter addressing rumors and facts when it comes to Pleasant Hill. 105.7 News obtained the letter and it is as follows:
“It has been the policy of this administration to open this office (literally and figuratively) to any resident who has questions, issues, complaints, concerns, or suggestions. There are times when the fix is an easy one, and there are others when the lack of time, resources, or money means we need to be creative in our solutions. In other instances, we are bound by national, state or county law to respond in a particular way. All these factors are a consideration in what we can, or are able, to do. But the first step is to come into Town Hall, or call, and let us know your concerns. This gives us an opportunity to see what we can do to solve them. Without your input, we don’t even know what the issues are. Town Hall is open from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Monday-Friday. Come in and let us know.
It has come to our attention that the rumors/comments below are circulating within the community, and it is best to place fact to the rumors. This publication is meant to address those conversations/comments:
Rumor: Pleasant Hill residents can no longer open burn on their properties.
Fact: Yes you can …. PERIOD. Residents have always been able to burn, and can continue with the proper burn permit when required by the State/County. This is not a change. In fact, this town council passed an ordinance #2019-01, to guarantee and cement a resident’s right to burn on their own property. When you hear comments about anything, and you aren’t sure, don’t take them as gospel truth, contact town hall to verify. Open burning has never been questioned by your town government.
Rumor: The town gives more attention to the west side where more Uplands people live, that it does the east side
Fact: This statement needs clarification with examples. After speaking to our maintenance crew, we are all perplexed. The services we offer equally to all residents are:
- Brush pickup – every Tuesday – this is a pay service for those who sign up.
- Trash pickup – every Thursday – this is a pay service for those who sign up.
- Recycling – is free to all residents who place out their recycling bins for pickup (2nd Wed of the month).
- Street-side Mowing – Is performed on every town street on both sides. The only exception has always been Highway 70, which is a state thoroughfare maintained by the state. Issues for Highway 70 can be directed to town hall and we will intervene to the state on your behalf.
- Roadside Litter pickup – every town street is graced by the hull mobile patrol on a regular basis.
- Street Lights – the largest expense to the town on a monthly basis is the cost of lighting our streets. We are moving to more cost-effective lighting, but that will take a slow migration of bulb swap out.
- Ditches and Culverts – culverts are the responsible of the owner, but the ditches are maintained by the town. Our maintenance team responds gladly every citizen who has called for a consult on their ditches. We have helped citizens east, west, and in the middle. Call town hall to set up an appointment.
- Plowing and Salting – Every street and side street is plowed and salted when the conditions dictate. Highway 70 is the exception as it is maintained by the State of Tennessee.
- Street Repair – There is no preferential treatment in any area of the town. If there is a pothole or any area needing attention, our maintenance team addresses it. Depending on the repair (such as our large culverts), it may take time to gather the resources to do the work.
- Cemetery Upkeep – Both cemeteries owned by Pleasant Hill are immaculately kept with cleaning, trimming, mowing and weed–eating regularly performed during growing season.
Rumor: The town is being taken over by Uplands Village and the town council considers Uplands requests first.
Fact: Step forward if your request has not been heard. Town hall is open to ALL resident’s concerns and suggestions. We have made it a point to be fair in considering each request, based on the good of the town. Uplands is not Pleasant Hill, and Pleasant Hill is not Uplands. Our town council is a mixture of all facets of Pleasant Hill.
We are unique in that we have a mixture of citizens who have decades of family history in Pleasant Hill, and also those who have moved from afar. One of the town council’s priorities in 2019 is to promote bridging the gap between those who have been here a lifetime, and those who have chosen to live the remainder of their lifetime here. It is important to respect and preserve the richness of the life that attracted people here in the first place. Sometimes, the old way is better. It is also important to be open to new ideas. Sometimes, the new way is better. And sometimes, just sometimes …. compromise is best.
Rumor: Building permits are required from select builds.
Fact: Building permits are required by State of Tennessee law. It is not the town or your town council deciding who and who does or does not require a permit. We have a state certified Building Inspector who oversees the building permit process, and they are bound by law to following the regulations. If we are found to be intentionally not following the law, we will be fined heavily. On the other hand, if you question the process, come in and we will research. In unique situations, and with the multitude of regulations in place (binders and binders) it is not impossible to interpret improperly. We are not immune to error, and we will correct it if we are.
Rumor: A petition is going around saying that if I sign, it will be better for the town of Pleasant Hill.
Fact: The town is not sponsoring or endorsing any petition. If there were to be an issue to be weighed by petition, that would be available at town hall to gather community feedback. The town would never go door to door to solicit feedback unless it were readily announced ahead of time.
Rumor: Certain people are being singled out for a particular issue.
Fact: If a neighbor complains about an issue, and based on town ordinance you are in violation, it will be addressed. No member of the town council goes out looking for issues to ‘pick on’ people. In an effort to not feel singled out, there is a new complaint process where a citizen filing a complaint will do it in writing, with particulars, so that complaint is on file. Some examples of complaints received: Brush not removed, trashy yards, garbage placed out too early, noise in the neighborhood, barking dogs, stray cats, stinky garbage cans, speeders, loud 4 wheelers.
Rumor: There are properties within the town limits who wish to de-annex from the town because they are not receiving equal services as the remainder of the town. The petition being circulated will be used as the basis to identify properties who want to de-annex.
Fact: The town has only received verbal comments about such an action. But, this is the formal response from our town council. It is your right as a resident of Pleasant Hill to investigate the options open to you to de-annex. However, as we have never received any complaint or issue that has failed to be addressed by this administration, we are sincerely in the dark why we have not been given the opportunity to even hear the issues. We can’t fix what we don’t know about. After consulting with our Tennessee state advisors, there will/may be some consequences that could surface:
- Street Lights – The town will no longer pay for street lights in the area de-annexed
- Plowing and Salting – De-annexed streets will no longer receive snow/ice service from the Town
- Recycling, Trash Pickup, Brush Pickup,– Will no longer be available
- Increase in Homeowner and Car insurance rates in areas de-annexed may be a reality
Rumor: Town hall isn’t listening to our complaints.
Fact: Your town council does want to hear from you. We are hearing rumor variations of problems (mentioned above). But we have yet to have a town resident come into town hall to report something that this administration has not been able to address. We have never turned any resident away who wants to report a concern, or offer a suggestion. But it is up to you to come to us and let us know. The monthly meeting is every second Tuesday starting at 6 p.m. at town hall in Pleasant Hill. There is a section of the agenda set aside in each monthly meeting where residents voice their concerns. Each person wishing to talk will be given 2 minutes to address the council. If arrangements are made ahead with the town office to fit in the time, there may be time for an extended conversation. The town council encourages residents to come forward and is ready and willing to listen to each resident’s comments.”