SAFFORD — The subject of graffiti came up twice during Monday’s Safford City Council meeting.
Senior IT Specialist Cade Bryce debuted a new tool on the city’s website that will allow citizens to report graffiti, providing exact location and photos.
“We developed a web application, meaning it’s web based. It doesn’t matter if it’s on an iPad, and Android phone, an iPhone, it does not matter, it’s web based,” Bryce said.
Once the city becomes aware, the next item that came before the council would go into effect — a new ordinance prescribing the removal of the graffiti. On this some council members had a bit of difficulty, specifically as it relates to the owner of the property that was tagged.
“I don’t want them punished for something , necessarily, that wasn’t their fault to begin with,” said Councilman Arnold Lopez.
Under the proposed ordinance, the city would offer to clean the graffiti off private property for free. If the property owner declined the city’s offer, the owner would have five days to clean the graffiti. If the cleanup does not occur, the owner could then be cited and fined.
The council directed staff to remove from the proposed ordinance any legal action against the property owner, as well as provide the property owner more time to abate the nuisance if the owner does not accept the city’s offer of free assistance.
Police Chief Glen Orr also updated the council on the progress of his department’s investigation into the rash of graffiti in the city over the summer.
“We do have some information on names of people involved. Interestingly . . . it stopped for a while; one of the people we’ve been watching, trying to catch doing this, actually went into custody for a short period of time. And then had an ankle monitor and when the ankle monitor came off, and they were released back into the street, it started up again,” Orr said. “We have some good leads; we just haven’t actually been able to catch them in the act.”
The graffiti ordinance, with the requested changes by the City Council, will come back for a second public reading before formal adoption at a future council meeting.
To report graffiti, go to http://www.cityofsafford.us/ and click the image of a spray can. That same link will allow resident to report burned out street lights.