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Council to discuss proposed graffiti ordinance

The City of Amsterdam could clean up graffiti on private property and bill the owner under a new ordinance being proposed by Mayor Ann Thane. The ordinance would require property owners to remove graffiti on their property within thirty days of being cited by the city. Within twenty days, city employees could be directed by the City Engineer to clean up the graffiti. The bill for the work would be sent to the property owner and if not paid within thirty days, would be added to the owner’s property tax bill.

Thane said on Thursday that recent discussions with the Amsterdam Police Department, Neighborhood Watch and Mohawk Valley Crime Stoppers about the issue of graffiti tagging, especially in certain areas of the west end and waterfront area of the city prompted her to introduce the new ordinance.

A draft version of the ordinance was emailed to common council members on Thursday. The ordinance is scheduled to be discussed at a committee meeting at 6:30pm on Tuesday, just before regular council meeting.

Download the draft ordinance here

About Tim Becker

Tim Becker is the owner of AnthemWebsites.com LLC which publishes The Compass. He serves as both editor and a writer.

5 Responses to Council to discuss proposed graffiti ordinance

  1. This ordinance is a knee-jerk reaction to the graffiti painted on the yet to be completed pedestrian bridge. New legislation does nothing without enforcement, which has been a continued problem resulting in our city’s current blighted condition.

    The proposed ordinance also lists the occupant of the property, under the legal definition of owner, which also makes the renter responsible for graffiti removal.

    B. OWNER – Includes the following
    1. One or more persons of either sex, natural persons or individuals or corporation or
    partnership or agency or joint venture or titled owner of the subject real or personal
    property, association, joint stock companies, societies and all other entities of any
    kind capable of being used, who either is or claims to be the owner of such lot or
    land or of any occupied or unoccupied lot or land or any part therefore in the City of
    Amsterdam; or
    2. Any lessee, tenant or occupant of the real or personal property or any part thereof
    located in the City of Amsterdam; or
    3. Any agent, servant, representative or employee of any such persons or individual or
    corporation or partnership or agency of joint venture or titled owner of the subject
    real or personal property, associations, joint stock companies, societies and all other
    entities of any kind capable of being sued, who either is or claims to be the owner of
    such lot or land or any occupied or unoccupied lot or land or any part thereof in the
    City of Amsterdam

  2. Dan Weaver says:

    While I believe that we need to combat graffiti, this ordinance makes the victim of the crime pay for the crime. This is wrong. The right approach is to apprehend those doing the graffiti and make them pay for it. Just because it is easier to make the homeowner responsible rather than the person who vandalized the property with graffiti, it doesn’t make it right.

  3. Karl Baia says:

    What department would do the cleanup?

    • Tim Becker says:

      According to the draft, it just says:
      “When twenty (20) days have expired after the mailing and posting of the above-described notice the City Engineer shall direct City employees or contractors to correct the violation if the owner has not corrected the violating condition.”

  4. Mike Wieszchowski says:

    I agree with Dan, charging the property owners is unfair. They are the victims!!! Let’s figure out how to fine the criminals that do this and set up a clean-up fund that can be used to assist these property owners, instead of further victimizing them.