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City Discusses Punishing Business Owners Who Don't Clean Up Graffiti

City council discussed cracking down on business owners who leave graffiti on their buildings for too long

So, how long is too long to leave graffiti on a building for all to see?

Fourteen days? Thirty days?

members gave it some discussion at Monday night's meeting, saying they're tired of seeing business owners drag their feet when it comes to cleaning up their graffiti-tagged buildings.

Council discussed a proposed ordinance that would require business owners to remove the graffiti within a certain amount of time. Some agreed 14 days was plenty of time, while others thought 30 days was more reasonable.

"I think this is absolutely needed," said Councilman Jeff Peters, Ward 2. He shared a his experience with a business owner who, after trying and failing to remove graffiti from his building, said he'd give up and leave it there. "And it's because of that type of attitude that we need some teeth on this."

If the business owner doesn't remove the graffiti within the decided time frame, he could be prosecuted for a first-degree misdemeanor; however, the person who actually commits the vandalism or criminal damaging would typically be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor, which is not as severe.

Councilman Doug Foltz, Ward 1, supported the proposed legislation.

"We're better to have (the graffiti) taken off as soon as we can," he said. "Something gang-related can be dangerous. And it's unsightly and offensive."

Council is expected to introduce the proposed ordinance Monday.

Brandi Adamski June 21, 2012 at 01:20 PM
What's interesting is, in Canton, they know exactly who is tagging (I can think one spot - concrete posts of a 77 overpass) and they don't stop him. I would imagine the city is responsible for that space and they've covered it once in three years, leaving the tag there, essentially. It would be nice if the City of Canton followed suit for themselves! At least it's being talked about in North Canton!
Katie Miller June 25, 2012 at 02:04 PM
This really saddens me. I have an 82 year old aunt whose garage was spray painted pretty badly with graffiti mid May. Thanks to a dear nephew who works at Sherwin Williams he got it off two weeks later for her with a special product. Unfortunately the stop sign on her corner STILL has the graffiti on it. A police officer told her he turned it in and it will be removed. That was six weeks ago! The city has left a stop sign marked for six weeks. Are they accountable for their own timetable? I understand the city can't entice families or businesses to move here with graffiti on buildings. We can entice them with a sense of community and service towards each other. What about a city that provided business owners with cleaner/brushes to remove the graffiti? Don't kick people while they are down(or victimized). Help them up.
Ken Palosi June 25, 2012 at 03:04 PM
Katie. Can you contact your nephew and find out what the product is that he used. I would be very interested in knowing what it was.
Katie Miller June 25, 2012 at 10:35 PM
Yep. He said it is called "Graffiti Remover", $9.99 a can(aerosole) retail. Professionals could probably get a discount.
Ken Palosi June 25, 2012 at 11:03 PM
Thanks Katie. There is a Sherwin Williams store on Applegrove. They have a rewards program and I believe you get a discount on non sale items if you sign up. Thanks again.

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