Last updated: August 24. 2013 7:45PM - 133 Views

Story Tools:

Font Size:

Social Media:

Most of the incidents involving junk car complaints in Lima are being dealt with amicably. A police officer makes a resident aware of an issue and the resident takes care of the problem — moving the car into a garage or paying to have it towed.

The system appears to be working fine.

Thus, we are puzzled by the proposal before council’s Community and Economic Development Committee that’s seeking $60,000 to $70,000 to hire a full-time “junk car czar.” That is a lot of money to spend to fix something that is not broken.

Lima Community Development Director Amy Sackman Odum sees the plan as the ideal way to fulfill a request by 4th Ward Councilman Tom Tebben, who wants to see a proactive system that uses an inspector to look for vehicles, instead of a system that responds to complaints.

That may sound good, but if no one is complaining about a junk car, is there really the need to have it towed away? It seems like a lot of money to spend for what likely will turn into a confrontation with an automobile owner.

We also wonder if this proactive approach is really going to rid the city of junk vehicles. There are still local and state codes a czar would need to follow before specifying a junk auto. This includes knowing the value of the vehicle, if it’s operable, if it has license plates and current tags.

Laws also allow for how a car must be kept on a property — it can’t be on the lawn, it must be on a hard surface. Meanwhile, the inspector can’t go on to a person’s property to inspect the vehicle; what’s seen must be seen from the public right of way.

State law also requires a longer notice be given before a person attempts to seize someone’s material property. This allows the property owner more time to deal with the situation.

Currently, a certified police officer handles most of the enforcement. The officer who does Lima’s enforcement has other responsibilities in addition to the junk vehicle work. We think taxpayers are getting a bigger bang for their buck under this system.

Before the talk about the city hiring a “junk car czar” gains too much traction, council members should closely scrutinize the wisdom of paying someone $70,000 to run needless reconnaissance missions.

Trust us, if neighbors are upset by junk vehicles, they will call.

All user comments are subject to our Terms of Service. Users may flag inappropriate comments.
comments powered by Disqus

Featured Businesses


Info Minute

Gas Prices

Lima Gas Prices provided by GasBuddy.com