Jamestown Approves Quality Of Life Ticketing Ordnance

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JAMESTOWN, NY (WNY News Now) –  The Jamestown City Council unanimously approved the creation of a quality of life ticketing ordinance, allowing officers and code enforcement to ticket individuals for lesser code violations.

The point of the ordinance is to go after smaller violations, ultimately keeping them away from housing court.

“We’re going hard on these, what may be considered smaller crimes right, smaller issues, but are big for our residents,“ explained Mayor Eddie Sundquist. “And it’s something we have seen in a couple other larger cities, and we wanted to try it out here in the City of Jamestown as a way to immediately ticket and fine individuals and encourage them to clean up their mess.”

Once a resident receives the fine, they will have a limited time to fix the violation to have the penalty possibly dropped from one of the three channels of law enforcement the fine goes through.

For many council members, lesser violation complaints are heard every day.

“Since I’ve been on the council, probably 90 percent of the calls I receive from residents had to deal with exactly what was contained in this ordinance,“ stated Councilwoman Marie Carrubba. “For lack of a better term, quality of life issues. It’s neighbors not taking care of their properties, it’s barking dogs, it’s unlicensed vehicles, and it goes on and on. And these are the issues that most affect the people and I’m sure my fellow council members are also dealing with exactly the same issues and the same calls.” 

Members of the public turned out for the voting session to give feedback to council members on the proposed ordinance.

“The Department of Development has worked hard to create a vehicle for improving our neighborhoods and our commitment to housing,“ explained resident Doug Champ. “It’s something that I think will make our community much better. Much more advantageous for people to live in a home, whether they have a home now or thinking about buying something in the future.”

Some were concerned with the safety of city workers.

“Code enforcement officers, agents, or new hires, whatever is there a plan in place for their safety concerns,“ asked resident Matthew Lobe.

Director of Development Crystal Surdyk responded by saying the DOD implements a buddy system when dealing with individuals in the field.

“They already have to do affidavits of service, so they have to personally serve notices of violation and appearance tickets already as part of their job,“ explained Surdyk. “Again if there is an instance where they feel like they may be threatened, they will bring another code enforcement officer with them, if they feel like they need to have assistance from the police department, they will make that phone call and JPD will assist as well.”      

What’s next for the ticketing ordinance? Lawmakers now have to figure out how to implement the new system.

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