It may be costly in Ennis
By 08/16/2007 00:00:00
City looking into increasing the amount of fines levied for different offenses
ENNIS - The Ennis City Commission voted to raise the amount of fines for different offenses last week.
According to City Manager Steve Howerton, the city was in the low range compared to several surrounding cities in Ellis County.
The penalty for writing bad checks, public intoxication and having unkept yards were below most every city and Howerton wanted to become one of the highest fined city for these type of violations
Commissioner Byron Walker said the city should look to increase the smaller fines to twice as much as they currently are at the time of the meeting.
Howerton said it was not only a way to increase revenue, but a safety measure.
'Fines should not be so low as to not mean anything to an offender who continually repeats the crime,' said Howerton.
'A person who thinks the fine was so small it would not deter them from continually repeating the offense.'
Howerton did go onto say the city has to be fair and not make the fines to large.
The commission decided to look into the issue further before adopting the increase.
The commission also repealed a municipal code and established restrictions on the types of wheeled vehicles and devices, primarily skate boards, which are allowed on the sidewalks in downtown.
Several local vendors and citizens complained about skateboarders being a problem.
The commission has been contemplating several avenues to allow skateboarders and bicyclist a place to ride which may include allowing these types of wheeled vehicles to ride on the sidewalks and concrete in residential areas.
The main concern came from John Erisman from the Ennis Police Department, who spoke about how to enforce the new ordinance.
Erisman said the officers could use their discretion and not be hard on first time offenders, but warn them until the officers catch them again.
Erisman went as far as to recommending a second warning and having a conversation with the parents before any fines were actually issued.
'It may take awhile and posting the new ordinance so the community knows of the changes before the police began handing out fines,' said Erisman.