‘I don’t want to live in a Communist country’: Monroe councilman reacts to adding ‘grass clippings’ to city law

When Monroe City Council members discussed adding “grass clippings” to an ordinance about disposing of items Tuesday night, Councilman Tom Callahan said he was against the measure because “we have too much government.”

Later in the conversation, Callahan told his fellow members: “I don’t want to live in a Communist country.”

The ordinance would prohibit placing or knowingly dropping tacks, bottles, wire, glass, nails or other things that may cause damage or injury on areas of travel like roadways and alleys.

Callahan and Vice Mayor Keith Funk voted against the first reading, but it passed 4-2. Robert Routson was absent from the meeting.

Funk said enforcing the ordinance may be a problem and it would not save lives.

Councilwoman Christina McElfresh said she was for the ordinance because “it doesn’t hurt anybody to add two words.”

At its April 27 meeting the council rejected adding the words “grass clippings” to an ordinance.

Before rejecting the wording addition in April, council discussed at length whether grass clippings left in the roadway by residents or lawn-mowing companies should be considered a potential hazard, especially to those riding motorcycles or bikes.

The issue seemed to be over until a Monroe resident, an avid motorcyclist, brought her concerns to council and members voted to reconsider the ordinance at Tuesday’s meeting.

There are no laws in Ohio to keep people from leaving grass clippings in the road.

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