OSWEGO, NY – While Port City officials look around to discover new forms of revenue for the cash-strapped city one council member says they don’t have to re-invent the wheel.
Mike Todd, Third Ward, pointed out Monday night that Oswego could increase its cash intake simply by vigorously cracking down on repeat code violator and collecting fines.
The way the city enforces codes currently is complaint-driven, he pointed out.
“I think that’s kind of a crazy way to do things. That’s like asking our police or fire department to only respond to police or fire issues if there’s a complaint,” he said. “I’m frustrated. I know other councilors are frustrated.”
It’s time to look “long and hard” at the way the city enforces its codes and possibly make some changes, he said.
He said he has been getting the same calls every two weeks, from the same residents, complaining the same lawns aren’t being mowed, the same property isn’t being maintained – and the same process is followed …send out another letter.
“After the first time you get a letter, you should get fined automatically the next time,” he said.
The city should be more proactive and not just respond to complaints, he added.
“If (someone) drives by a property and sees that there is a problem, especially on Bridge Street, where everybody drives through, we have to look a different ways of doing business. Because this isn’t acceptable,” he said. “I’m not exactly sure how we’re going to do it. But I do believe we have to look long and hard at our codes and how they’re being enforced.”
First Ward Councilor Fran Enwright echoed Todd’s sentiments.
“I know the past few weeks have been a challenge down in the First and Third wards. There have been a lot of debris and old sofas, furniture … placed along the road,” he said. “I want to let everyone know that this did not go unnoticed.”
He said he supports what Councilor Todd is proposing.