Hamilton politicians to step up fight against 'nuisance' graffiti

News Nov 13, 2017 by Kevin Werner Hamilton Mountain News

Hamilton Mountain councillors are encouraging the staff to expand a program that would install as many closed circuit cameras as possible in public parks across the city to deter would be graffiti artists.

In addition, politicians agreed to spend about $140,000 to hire two co-opt students, plus buy a vehicle to help combat graffiti across the city.

Ward 4 Coun. Sam Merulla, who proposed the two initiatives, said the current graffiti enforcement process is based upon complaints. With this new program, Hamilton will take action against graffiti, he said.

"This is a pro-active enforcement to look for graffiti with the two co-opt studentsi," said Merulla.

The possibility of expanding closed circuit cameras in parks to monitor parks for graffiti activity emerged from a two-year pilot program that recently was completed.

Ward 6 Coun. Tom Jackson said he has been supportive of the successful pilot program that installed closed circuit cameras at Fay Avenue Park, located at 95 Broker Dr. and Lisgar Park at 95 Carson Dr. Jackson said the program has been successful, but he wants more cameras at other park locations.

City staff said since the motion-activated cameras were installed there have been no graffiti instances at Fay and Lisgar parks. Staff also planted shrubs and painted the fence along both parks as additional deterrents.

Ward 8 Coun. Terry Whitehead said he would use his own area-rating fund to purchase cameras and get them installed at local parks in an effort to ward off taggers. Both politicians said homeowners located on parks and other open spaces have had their residences tagged multiply times.

“I would use the money from my area rating fund,” he said. “I’ve had a house that had to be painted eight times (due to graffiti).”

Jackson said the hardest hit homeowners are located along Kingslea Drive near Fay Park. Whitehead said graffiti has become a heightened problem in Fessenden, Gilkson, and along the pathway through Limeridge to the Gourley neighbourhood.

The Mountain councillors are not the only politicians who have felt the impact of complaints from residents about graffiti. The city created a graffiti audit in 2014 and found about 50 intense graffiti areas, with the majority of those neighbourhoods in Wards 2 and 3.

Councillors were supportive Merulla's proposed recommendations to hire two co-op students and buy one vehicle dedicated to enforcing Hamilton’s updated graffiti management strategy. The total cost of the enforcement would be about $140,000.

This is only the latest in a series of initiatives the city has launched to fight graffiti. In 2010 Hamilton introduced a public-relations campaign identifying graffiti as a crime and requesting people to call the police when they see graffiti.

“This will go a long way to dealing with graffiti,” said Merulla. “It’s such a nuisance. One tag leads to another.”

The money is proposed to come from the sale of a parking lot in Ward 2 Coun. Jason Farr’s ward.

Hamilton spends about $2.3 million annually cleaning up graffiti and litter.

Merulla proposed a feasibility study in 2014 to install closed circuit cameras in parks to prevent illegal dumping. Jackson jumped on the idea to have the cameras installed in his ward to not only monitor illegal dumping but also to keep close tabs on taggers.

A number of politicians have criticized the part of the city’s anti-graffiti bylaw that forces building owners to remove any graffiti within two weeks or face a fine. They argue homeowners are penalized even though they are victims of a crime.

Jennifer DiDomenico, acting director of transportation, said staff will review the issue in consultation with politicians as part of a victim assistance program.

 

 

Hamilton politicians to step up fight against 'nuisance' graffiti

News Nov 13, 2017 by Kevin Werner Hamilton Mountain News

Hamilton Mountain councillors are encouraging the staff to expand a program that would install as many closed circuit cameras as possible in public parks across the city to deter would be graffiti artists.

In addition, politicians agreed to spend about $140,000 to hire two co-opt students, plus buy a vehicle to help combat graffiti across the city.

Ward 4 Coun. Sam Merulla, who proposed the two initiatives, said the current graffiti enforcement process is based upon complaints. With this new program, Hamilton will take action against graffiti, he said.

"This is a pro-active enforcement to look for graffiti with the two co-opt studentsi," said Merulla.

The possibility of expanding closed circuit cameras in parks to monitor parks for graffiti activity emerged from a two-year pilot program that recently was completed.

Ward 6 Coun. Tom Jackson said he has been supportive of the successful pilot program that installed closed circuit cameras at Fay Avenue Park, located at 95 Broker Dr. and Lisgar Park at 95 Carson Dr. Jackson said the program has been successful, but he wants more cameras at other park locations.

City staff said since the motion-activated cameras were installed there have been no graffiti instances at Fay and Lisgar parks. Staff also planted shrubs and painted the fence along both parks as additional deterrents.

Ward 8 Coun. Terry Whitehead said he would use his own area-rating fund to purchase cameras and get them installed at local parks in an effort to ward off taggers. Both politicians said homeowners located on parks and other open spaces have had their residences tagged multiply times.

“I would use the money from my area rating fund,” he said. “I’ve had a house that had to be painted eight times (due to graffiti).”

Jackson said the hardest hit homeowners are located along Kingslea Drive near Fay Park. Whitehead said graffiti has become a heightened problem in Fessenden, Gilkson, and along the pathway through Limeridge to the Gourley neighbourhood.

The Mountain councillors are not the only politicians who have felt the impact of complaints from residents about graffiti. The city created a graffiti audit in 2014 and found about 50 intense graffiti areas, with the majority of those neighbourhoods in Wards 2 and 3.

Councillors were supportive Merulla's proposed recommendations to hire two co-op students and buy one vehicle dedicated to enforcing Hamilton’s updated graffiti management strategy. The total cost of the enforcement would be about $140,000.

This is only the latest in a series of initiatives the city has launched to fight graffiti. In 2010 Hamilton introduced a public-relations campaign identifying graffiti as a crime and requesting people to call the police when they see graffiti.

“This will go a long way to dealing with graffiti,” said Merulla. “It’s such a nuisance. One tag leads to another.”

The money is proposed to come from the sale of a parking lot in Ward 2 Coun. Jason Farr’s ward.

Hamilton spends about $2.3 million annually cleaning up graffiti and litter.

Merulla proposed a feasibility study in 2014 to install closed circuit cameras in parks to prevent illegal dumping. Jackson jumped on the idea to have the cameras installed in his ward to not only monitor illegal dumping but also to keep close tabs on taggers.

A number of politicians have criticized the part of the city’s anti-graffiti bylaw that forces building owners to remove any graffiti within two weeks or face a fine. They argue homeowners are penalized even though they are victims of a crime.

Jennifer DiDomenico, acting director of transportation, said staff will review the issue in consultation with politicians as part of a victim assistance program.

 

 

Hamilton politicians to step up fight against 'nuisance' graffiti

News Nov 13, 2017 by Kevin Werner Hamilton Mountain News

Hamilton Mountain councillors are encouraging the staff to expand a program that would install as many closed circuit cameras as possible in public parks across the city to deter would be graffiti artists.

In addition, politicians agreed to spend about $140,000 to hire two co-opt students, plus buy a vehicle to help combat graffiti across the city.

Ward 4 Coun. Sam Merulla, who proposed the two initiatives, said the current graffiti enforcement process is based upon complaints. With this new program, Hamilton will take action against graffiti, he said.

"This is a pro-active enforcement to look for graffiti with the two co-opt studentsi," said Merulla.

The possibility of expanding closed circuit cameras in parks to monitor parks for graffiti activity emerged from a two-year pilot program that recently was completed.

Ward 6 Coun. Tom Jackson said he has been supportive of the successful pilot program that installed closed circuit cameras at Fay Avenue Park, located at 95 Broker Dr. and Lisgar Park at 95 Carson Dr. Jackson said the program has been successful, but he wants more cameras at other park locations.

City staff said since the motion-activated cameras were installed there have been no graffiti instances at Fay and Lisgar parks. Staff also planted shrubs and painted the fence along both parks as additional deterrents.

Ward 8 Coun. Terry Whitehead said he would use his own area-rating fund to purchase cameras and get them installed at local parks in an effort to ward off taggers. Both politicians said homeowners located on parks and other open spaces have had their residences tagged multiply times.

“I would use the money from my area rating fund,” he said. “I’ve had a house that had to be painted eight times (due to graffiti).”

Jackson said the hardest hit homeowners are located along Kingslea Drive near Fay Park. Whitehead said graffiti has become a heightened problem in Fessenden, Gilkson, and along the pathway through Limeridge to the Gourley neighbourhood.

The Mountain councillors are not the only politicians who have felt the impact of complaints from residents about graffiti. The city created a graffiti audit in 2014 and found about 50 intense graffiti areas, with the majority of those neighbourhoods in Wards 2 and 3.

Councillors were supportive Merulla's proposed recommendations to hire two co-op students and buy one vehicle dedicated to enforcing Hamilton’s updated graffiti management strategy. The total cost of the enforcement would be about $140,000.

This is only the latest in a series of initiatives the city has launched to fight graffiti. In 2010 Hamilton introduced a public-relations campaign identifying graffiti as a crime and requesting people to call the police when they see graffiti.

“This will go a long way to dealing with graffiti,” said Merulla. “It’s such a nuisance. One tag leads to another.”

The money is proposed to come from the sale of a parking lot in Ward 2 Coun. Jason Farr’s ward.

Hamilton spends about $2.3 million annually cleaning up graffiti and litter.

Merulla proposed a feasibility study in 2014 to install closed circuit cameras in parks to prevent illegal dumping. Jackson jumped on the idea to have the cameras installed in his ward to not only monitor illegal dumping but also to keep close tabs on taggers.

A number of politicians have criticized the part of the city’s anti-graffiti bylaw that forces building owners to remove any graffiti within two weeks or face a fine. They argue homeowners are penalized even though they are victims of a crime.

Jennifer DiDomenico, acting director of transportation, said staff will review the issue in consultation with politicians as part of a victim assistance program.