Sunday, December 31, 2006

Fayetteville, Graffiti Blues

Fayetteville has been seeing an increase in graffiti. The city and the police are trying to get rid of it.
Fayetteville police and other city officials are looking at how best to amend a city ordinance to make it more effective regarding graffiti and graffiti cleanup.

I don't particularly like the way they intend to clean up graffiti.
Police already have a way to charge the painter. A new ordinance would be about requiring the property owner to remove the graffiti.

I understand the need to quickly remove the graffiti as soon as possible. The longer it is present the more likely that more graffiti will show up. However, I don't think the property owners need to victimized twice.
City staff met this month and discussed using a Springdale anti-graffiti ordinance as the model for a Fayetteville ordinance. It includes a definition and a declaration process for determining the graffiti as unsightly and a nuisance, and it talks about removal and the city's right to action if the graffiti is not removed.

Our neighborhood association has been hit twice with graffiti. It had been report to the police. While they were sympathetic with us they didn't offer any solutions on getting rid of it. I asked them about the best products to use, or if any business were doing graffiti removal. The police didn't know a darn thing. I called several businesses myself and they either wouldn't do it or said they would and didn't show up. I had to remove it myself, experimenting with different products to get rid of it.
Gabbard said the police department is also looking to partner with individuals or businesses to supply graffiti-removal products the department would provide to property owners.

This is the best solution. It would have been nice if the police had given me a list of products that worked or a list of businesses that would remove it. I would think that businesses have insurance to take care of paying for it or just include it their expenses. I see a problem if a household owner gets graffiti. They may not have the ability to pay for the removal. In that event, the police could have a list of volunteers who would do the job. One avenue of help is the Fayetteville Council of Neighborhoods. I'm sure the police would get plenty of people to help. Actually, since graffiti is a community problem it would be nice to see a partnership between business owners and neighborhoods to get rid of graffiti. I like to see the city go through these avenues first before trying to enforce a nuisance ordinance. There really is no need to violate a victim twice.

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