Vision 2020 reducing its role as focus of group changes

Sunday, July 22, 2007

The city of Cape Girardeau's Vision 2020 Community Relations Board will scale back its work over the next year.

Connie Hanner, Vision 2020's acting chairwoman, said the group's focus is changing as it aligns with the Keep Southeast Missouri Beautiful chapter.

Hanner will announce the move at Monday's city council meeting as part of Vision 2020's annual report.

She said Vision 2020 will continue to promote Keep Southeast Missouri Beautiful as well as the annual Melvin Gateley Award of Distinction, set for 7 a.m. Jan. 29 at Saint Francis Medical Center.

The council also faces the second and third readings of an ordinance that would raise fines to $50 for illegal parking on residential streets around Southeast Missouri State University.

Ward 1 Councilman John Voss introduced the ordinance at the July 9 meeting. He has since met with city and university officials to discuss other parking enforcement options. He said he may offer to table the measure Monday or offer an alternative fine structure.

Cape Girardeau Mayor Jay Knudtson said the fine is too high but "we need to look at our fine structures and whether we are properly penalizing offenders."

Ward 3 Councilwoman Debra Tracy supported the proposed $50 fine but said she was pleased the issue is being taken seriously "as it has been an ongoing concern for residents in my ward."

pmcnichol@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 127

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