Wega considers ordinance enforcement
During a joint meeting of two committees on Monday, Oct. 8 - the Ordinance Committee and the Police, Fire and Ambulance Committee - a motion to recommend budgeting sufficient funds in 2013 for a community officer was approved.
The recommendation was scheduled to go before the city's Finance Committee when it met Tuesday, Oct. 9 to discuss next year's budget.
Ald. Amy DeSantis brought forward the proposal.
DeSantis, a member of the Finance Committee, was invited to speak about her idea.
"I'd like the city to take a proactive approach," she said. "I think it's something that needs to be done."
She and other members of the Common Council said many taxpayers have asked the city during the past year how the ordinances are enforced and who enforces them.
In her proposal, DeSantis wrote, "In the past the city has taken on ordinance enforcement as a complaint process only, which brings up other issues as to only those that have a complaint filed against them will have to abide by the ordinance but others may not have to."
She is in favor of the city hiring a limited-term employee to record and enforce ordinance violations within the city.
The community officer would report to the city administrator but work jointly with the police department on any complaints.
She said the community officer could work 10 hours every two weeks at a rate of $12 per hour.
The community officer would report monthly to the Ordinance Committee for a review of violations. The committee would then update the Common Council.
Under this scenario, the Ordinance Committee could decide at any time that the services of the community officer were no longer needed and terminate the employment.
"It is my hope that once the residents realize the city will enforce the ordinances that they will start abiding by them and eliminating the need for the community officer," DeSantis wrote.
The community officer and administrator would work together to decide which ordinances to work on, and the community officer would then go out into the community to visually look for those ordinance violations.
The violation would be documented, and the property owner would be given a written warning, stating a time frame in which the violation would need to be corrected.
Two weeks later, the community officer would follow up.
"We currently have a written letter process which needs to be evaluated to determine if it has the right language and implications if the violations are not corrected.
"We will also need to prepare some type of logs the community officer would use to document violations and adherence. The community officer would also need an identification badge/uniform," DeSantis wrote in her proposal.
Council members Donna Allenstein and Scott Rasmussen and Mayor Don Morgan believe it is a good idea.
"I think it's a good first step," Morgan said.
- Student art on display at Waupaca High School
- Senior Recognition Ceremony at WHS
- Friends of lakes group meets at Holly Center
- Lioness blood drive May 21
- Salon celebrates anniversary with street dance
- City hires new economic development director
- More delays for Iola's bridge project (2)
- Park renamed after Jim Boyer
- Fire department plans fundraisers
- School district recognized for wellness program