There's a council meeting tonight at Municipal Hall at 7:30, and wonder of wonders, an agenda has been posted for it! Here are the highlights:
1. Discussion and repeal of Ordinance 14-08 regarding Police Captains and Lieutenants. This was the ordinance that said the Police Chief could appoint captains and lieutenants at will, that those positions no longer had to take an exam for a promotion.
2. Motion to adopt Ordinance 14-09 repealing the three strikes procedure. The 3 strikes procedure held landlords responsible for frequent police calls to their properties. I think the initial intent was to get landlords' cooperation in controlling tenants who in some way continually violate laws. It seems to have been used differently on occasion, against innocent tenants who called the police often about other people in the neighborhood. Regardless, the ACLU sued Norristown over it, so the ordinance will be repealed.
3. Motion to accept the 2009 Audit. Really? We haven't accepted the 2009 Audit yet? It's been 5 years. Just about time for a new audit. (On this topic, I should also mention that Council is appointing a new Director of Finance tonight. We were never told why the last one was sacked.)
4. Motion to adopt Ordinance 14-10 -- regarding litter. The ordinance will allow residents to place a sign “no larger than 18 inches by 6 inches” on their property that reads “No Solicitation or Handbills.” The ordinance prohibits persons and companies from distributing “commercial handbills or other unsubscribed literature.” The idea is that the slips of paper that are occasionally jammed through your door handle won't get loose and fly around your neighborhood.
And what about the handbills you find on your car, often after events
like concerts in the park? They blow all over town, and they're a mess
if it rains before I get back to my car. Can we put No Handbills signs
on our vehicles, too?
The fine will be “$600 and $1,000” for each
property where handbills are distributed (though I'm not sure if the
homeowner has to report it or if, say, a loose handbill flying around
the neighborhood and found by code enforcement is enough).
if you erect a sign but don't maintain it, you can be fined $25 to
$100. I have my sign inside my storm door, so it's protected from the
elements. You could put the sign in a window. It doesn't have to be
big--it just has to be present.
So that's most of the line-up for
the council meeting. There are a few other items--some HARB approvals
and such. You can see the whole agenda at http://norristown.org/userfiles/file/council_agenda_aug_6_2014.pdf