Council to tackle graffiti Monday

Mayor wants to review penalties used in other cities


The Observer

City council will discuss Sarnia’s growing graffiti problem when it meets Monday.

In a letter to council, Mayor Mike Bradley says staff should be instructed to check with other Ontario communities to see what they’re doing to stop buildings from being defaced by vandals.

“The problem of graffiti has been increasing dramatically on both public and private property within the community,” the mayor wrote. “A number of other communities have taken action to meet the response to graffiti and seek different penalties to deal with what is community vandalism.”

In an interview, the mayor said graffiti has been popping up all over the city, but especially in the downtown. In one case, graffiti appeared on brand new traffic lights on Christina Street, he said. “That costs a lot of money (to remove).”

Private property owners are also seeing an increase in such activity, he said.

Bradley said it’s important to clean up graffiti as soon as it appears. He noted former New York City mayor Rudi Giuliana was successful in cleaning up the Big Apple by having graffiti removed as quickly as possible.

“If there’s a broken window or a piece of graffiti and you leave it, it grows,” Bradley said.

But Sarnia Coun. Dave Boushy said he hasn’t noticed an increase in graffiti. And he questions whether council should be doing anything that would draw attention to such acts.

“The more you give it publicity, the more it seems to spread,” he said. “For some teenagers it’s a challenge for them.”

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// ]]>Enforcement is a problem as well, because, “police have to catch them in the act,” Boushy said.

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