Putting The “Ass” In Lancaster

In response to a recent spate of tagging travails I’ve been having soooooo much fun cleaning up after (and ranting about, of course), a fellow blogger and reader of mine named Paul from out Antelope Valley way, posted a comment alerting me to some crazy grafitti abatement proposal crap that the Lancaster City Clowncil apparently put the brakes on at the last second because someone with half a clue realized that making the victims of vandalism fine-worthy criminals for not cleaning up the defacement in a 24-hour period might not be the best course of action to take.

From a Daily News article January 24:

The proposed update of the ordinance would have clearly delineated the responsibility of owners to keep their properties free of graffiti. Under the ordinance, property owners would have 24 hours to clean up a site, at their own expense, after being notified by the city.

Under the existing ordinance, the city has been paying for cleanup of privately owned sites.

Under the proposed update, it would be a violation for each day the graffiti is not removed. A property could be subjected to a lien in the event the city has to step in for a cleanup.

What I particularly love in the article is that the duly elected bozos have stopped to collaborate and listen not because they looked in a mirror and saw idiots staring back at them or because Joe & Jackie Homeowner have the potential of getting screwed, but rather only because big bad SoCal Edison stepped up on behalf of all the poor utility companies and said now wait I say wait a cotton-pickin’ minute because its facilities are massive spray-can targets and there’s just no way they can paint out everything in such a tight time frame.

What’s next, maybe Palmdale penalizing people for not being prompt in picking up after litterbugs?

5 thoughts on “Putting The “Ass” In Lancaster”

  1. I think this is a great idea. I think most responsible property owners will take care of this on their own anyway, so its really only going to effect people who are negligent in the cleanup.

    While maybe 24 hours appears too brief, this comes only after being notified by the city – not 24 hours after the graffitti appeared.

    If cleanup is handled aggressively, taggers will be less inspired to vandalize when they see its done in vain. The more aggressive taggers will be forced to try harder, only putting them at higher risk of being caught.

    If cost is an issue, the Department of Public Works has free paint people can pick use to cover up graffiti.

  2. David, on one hand I’m with you. You’re preaching to the choir as I am indeed one of those who aggressively responds to any defacement. If it’s on my property I get rid of it within the day. If a neighbor’s been hit and they don’t jump on it I set up a visit by L.A.’s awesome grafitti paint-out squad.

    But I just can’t get past the criminalizing of victims. While it might be a great idea in your book because it has potential in your eyes ultimately as a tagger deterrent, I think it’s a little rose-colored to imagine taggers just saying “gee darn!” and hanging up their Krylons. The simple fact is that they’ll just find a path of least resistance, be it next door or the next block.

    And for the amount of money and resources Lancaster will incur in the implementation, policing and adjudication of such a program I would rather see it turned around from a negative lien-producing factory into something positive, wherein demonstrated aggressive and diligent clean-up by propoerty owners might make them eligible for a tax credit or car-pool lane access.

  3. The FREE paint is the make-it-OK factor. There can be no objection to being forced to perform this small celebration of living in a great city, given FREE paint. You and I would do it anyway. The legal step-in is to tackle the lazy and careless ginks with no pride.

    Picking up litter that sub-human trash have dropped in their ignorance and stupidity, and painting out a graffito that appeared overnight, is a proper, public-spirit celebration for being born with a good IQ into a decent family. I wish we had the idea in the Poole Bay area, UK.

    Cy Quick at mydigest.wordpress.com

  4. “Free paint is the make-it-OK factor.”

    Cy, beyond my overarching problem with the proposal, underneath it is the fact that the city of Lancaster won’t even be offering free paint. What David Markland is talking about is a part of the Los Angeles program and I doubt if any Lancaster residents will be willing to drive the 50-60 miles to pick up a free bucket of Dutch Boy. Except maybe the low IQ ones. And maybe the ones from broken homes.

  5. I’m one of those homeowners that paints things out as soon as possible, and I wish my neighbors were more like me, but I’m with Will on this one. I also have my doubts that lack of paint is the primary factor in property owners’ failure to paint over tags, and if you have doubts about whether Lancaster is providing paint it clearly states the cleanup is at the owner’s expense. I’d be interested to know why Lancaster is moving away from city-funded cleanup? City-funded cleanup plus programs like free paint to encourage private owners to do it themselves seems like a better solution than putting the onus entirely on property owners.

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