Today's Question: Who should clean up graffiti?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009 | 11:11 a.m. CDT; updated 2:56 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, June 3, 2009

On Monday, the City Council met and discussed methods of dealing with graffiti.

The ordinance proposed three ways to remove graffiti: have the person responsible for putting up the graffiti remove it, have the city provide removal or have the property owner remove the graffiti.

The problem with the first method is that the person who commits the crime is rarely caught, City Counselor Fred Boeckman said.

Having the city pay for the removal of the graffiti would involve funding to do so, which would not be an easy task.

The third method suggested would have property owners be responsible for the removal of graffiti, which would include sending the owner a notice for when the graffiti removal needs to commence and be finished. Placing the cost on the property owners, however, might not be fair either.

Fourth Ward Councilman Jerry Wade suggested using work teams from the Boone County Jail to help clean up the graffiti. He said he wanted the idea looked into, but it would require careful supervision.

The council plans to discuss the issue further, Mayor Darwin Hindman said.

What steps should be taken to deal with the graffiti problem in Columbia?

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Ray Shapiro June 3, 2009 | 3:51 p.m.

Increasing penalties and jail time for those caught might serve as a deterrent.
Putting bounties and rewards out for these vandals might help.
Restitution, in any form, from the perpetrator would be nice.
Using prisoners as a work force is not a bad idea.
Not forgetting that there are bigger "crime" issues, such as gang activity and violence is also important...

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