Committee Sends Increased Enforcement, Penalties Plan To Council

OSWEGO – Mayor Billy Barlow’s proposed local law to aggressively increase the enforcement, fines and penalties for property maintenance issues such as tall grass, un-shoveled sidewalks, exposed garbage and other violations took a big step toward becoming a reality Tuesday night. The Planning and Development Committee gave a favorable recommendation to the mayor’s plan.

The full council will consider the request at its next meeting.

“I am proposing this legislation in an effort to reduce neighborhood blight and address some of the most unsightly and reoccurring violations in our community. Passing this legislation will allow the city of Oswego Code Enforcement department to be more proactive in addressing these nuisance violations and by increasing our enforcement and implementing higher fines we hope to prevent these violations from occurring in the first place,” the mayor explained.

These are “simple issues we should be able to remedy quickly,” he added.

The only thing better than raking care of the problem quickly “is preventing it from happening in the first place,” he said.

He believes the heightened enforcement and increased fines will help deter the problems from occurring.

Barlow’s plan would add a fine on top of the current surcharge for the work the city does in order to correct the problem.

“By attaching this fine, we should get the attention of the violators who consistently cause these violations and issues over and over again,” the mayor told the committee.

Hopefully it will cause them to put a little more attention into taking care of their property, he said.

He also wants to see the prosecution of violations expedited, he said.

It’s not just a “code issue,” he pointed out. It’s also a major safety issue, he said, citing the recent heavy snowfalls that have clogged city sidewalks.

Under his proposal, homeowners would be required to shovel their sidewalks by 7 a.m. the next day after it snows.


  1. This is the thought process from this mayor and council, just ignorance! Question…how much snow on sidewalks is allowed? Just stupid. Are they hiring another code enforcer to go out with a tape measure? When does the 24hr period start? Are they guessing when the snowfall stopped? The city is in disarray! Yes, the “city.” It can’t take care of itself! Public sidewalks never shoveled, parks and walkways the same. Are they making people leave on purpose? Hmmmm. This administration needs to go!

  2. So, if I have to be to work by 6am & it takes me about 2 hours to dig out, will I get a ticket for running my snowblower at 4am & waking up the neighbors so I can make sure the walks are cleared by 7am when I’ve already been at work for an hour??

  3. This is asinine, the way it’s being done.

    Do we have details on who exactly is the target of these measures? Landlords or large property owners of some sort? Or is just average citizens?

    I have a space at my house with two narrow driveways, zero pedestrian traffic in the winter, and shoveling the snow in order to clear my driveway inevitably ends up on the sidewalk … would I be fined? Nobody’s ever said anything to me about it before …

    This should be explained way better than it has been up to this point … and it seems like it’s just being rammed through without appropriate public discussion and official explanation … almost like it’s just a city government cash grab against a population in which most people can’t afford any further municipal contributions.

    Where are the common councilors writing pieces to explain these measures? Where is the mayor? [We’ve seen his platitudinous “blight” remarks and so forth but can you give us a little detail Billy?]

  4. When the mayor can fix all the topsy turvy buckled sidewalks and pothole ridden streets, then I might consider trying to maintain a high standard of curb appeal.

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