It’s a regular event: cities update their Uniform Public Offense Code for Kansas Cities annually.
Usually the update passes at a city council meeting unnoticed, but additions made can often resonant within the community as they are enforced.
And if fines are levied, the changes most often resonate in residents’ pockets. Fines on some recent changes can range from $250 — upwards to $2,000 for repetitive criminal littering.
At the last Gardner council meeting, the Gardner Police Department suggested several additions, including: criminal littering, juvenile loitering/quasi curfew and disturbing the peace. The changes were approved.
We believe these are good additions and will assist officers in protecting our quality of life.
Criminal littering — dumping — is a problem in any community, but it has become especially egregious here since increased truck traffic has caused the dumping of urine-filled jugs along Gardner’s roadways.
It’s not only unsightly, it’s unhealthy. And Gardner Public Works employees must pick up the jugs, empty and dispose of them.
That’s nasty.
We hesitate to mention this problem in print because it’s one those skeletons in the closet we don’t want our visitors to know.
We see the jugs, avert our eyes and drive on.
And nobody wants to Google Gardner and find an editorial on urine filled jugs. So we hesitate to mention it, as we’re sure officials will be unhappy, but what goes unmentioned goes unresolved.
The jug problem, first discussed with other cities when Gardner council took intermodal tours a decade ago, is ongoing, and it has to be addressed.
This law may help in stopping it.
Although it may be hard to catch the “jug bomb” culprits, it will only take a few tickets to slow or stop the practice.
Word will get around.
If you see a “bomb” being tossed, get a license number and notify authorities. It’s time the dirty culprits started picked up their own mess and pay for their barnyard manners.
We all have to live here and should not be held hostage to those who just pass thru.
It can’t be tolerated.
It’s not only unsightly, it’s unhealthy.
There are two other additions of special note in the Public Offense Ordinance; they are disturbing the peace and juvenile loitering.
We hope the GPD enforce these sections judiciously because one person’s noise may be another person’s music.
And, although rarely, there may sometimes be a need for a juvenile to be out late. However, the change requires juveniles be accompanied by an adult between the hours of 11 p.m. – 6 a.m.
We believe this change is necessary for several reasons, one of which is the safety of the juveniles.
What makes Gardner special is a good quality of life, and this should give GPD another tool in their arsenal.