Cemeteries may be more peaceful

DAYTON - Officials are hoping new regulations governing the county's cemeteries will end misunderstandings between mourners and administrators of Dayton's historic cemetery.

Lyon County Building and Grounds Manager Jack Mosby told those at Wednesday's Dayton Regional Advisory Council meeting that the caretakers of the Dayton cemetery have been told they are not to confront anyone.

"I have directed the Arnetts to back off. We do not want direct confrontations," Mosby said. "We want the cemeteries safe and to properly maintain respect for the deceased. If someone is doing something wrong they (Arnetts) are to notify the sheriff's department or go through the commissioners."

Mosby said a proposed set of rules have been sent to each of the cemetery boards. The boards have been directed to hold publicly noticed meetings to receive public comment. Following the hearings, rules will be presented to the commissioners for final approval.

"Right now we have several different sets of rules. We want all cemeteries to be governed uniformly. Hopefully, we can resolve this issue and have no more confrontations," he said.

Armand Arnett has been the caretaker of the Dayton Cemetery for the past 11 years. His wife Jesse is chairman of the local cemetery board. A number of residents have claimed the Arnetts personally confronted them over decorating gravesites.

Dayton resident Phil Early had items he had placed on his wife's gravesite remove with claims he was breaking the rules.

"There should be some equity regarding the rules. I got nowhere with the cemetery board," he said. "We need answers as to what can and can't be done. I was never notified that what I put there was wrong."

Others in attendance at Tuesday's meeting claimed prices charged for services have not been consistent and questioned grave digging policies.

A letter from Jesse Arnett, disputing resident claims of harassment and challenging "the false allegations" cited in a recent "letter to the editor" printed the local newspaper, was read into the record.

Mosby said the new rules will establish standard pricing throughout the county, address conflict of interest concerns, set uniform standards regarding the decorating of gravesites and set enforcement procedures.

"What one person perceives as beautiful and what another perceives as beautiful can cause problems. These rules will give us something we can all live with and avoid confrontation."

No date has been set for the next Dayton Cemetery Board meeting.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment