Archived Story

County wants litterbugs to pay up

Published 12:06am Tuesday, December 4, 2012

NATCHEZ — Litter has long been a bane of the Adams County Board of Supervisors, and Monday the supervisors took another step forward in their war on wanton wayside waste.

The supervisors authorized their attorney to advertise a new ordinance that would create the position of a litter enforcement officer with the authority to write $1,000 citations for littering. The board has in the past stated its intention for the position to support itself through the generation of citations.

Advertising the ordinance and seeking public input for it is a necessary legal step for the creation of the position, which the supervisors have talked about for the better part of a year.

In 2007, the board enacted a litter fine that was set at a minimum of $100 and a maximum of $500, overruling the then in-place state sanction of $50.

But the intended deterrent has done little to address problem spots in the county in the last five years, and Monday Supervisors President Darryl Grennell expressed support for the $1,000 fine.

“We have got to break up the littering in Adams County,” Grennell said. “When somebody starts getting a $1,000 ticket for throwing litter out their car window, people will start thinking.”

Referencing a picture of litter in the Broadmoor area that ran in The Natchez Democrat’s “Please Fix” section last week, Grennell said litter crews from the Adams County Sheriff’s Office routinely clean up that area, and that it needs to be a target for the litter control officer once the position is filled.

“We fix that every Monday morning, but by the end of the day, people have thrown garbage out of their vehicles,” Grennell said. “You can’t keep someone out there all the time, but the first time you see someone throw (litter), give them a $1,000 fine.”

Supervisor David Carter said he was unsure some county residents would be able to pay a $1,000 fine. Carter suggested that those ticketed for littering have the option of being able to work off their fines by picking up litter.

“The big thing (about the ordinance) is how do you enforce it once we do it?” Carter said.

Board attorney Scott Slover said he has taken the proposed ordinance to the local judiciary to get their opinion, and Grennell said he was willing to work with the judges to get the ordinance to work.

Slover said the board might need to consider some kind of local legislation that would allow the officer to be a sworn code enforcement officer for the City of Natchez so the officer could work in an arrangement similar to Metro Narcotics agents, enforcing both city and county codes.

In other news:

• Grennell told the board to be ready to bring to its January meeting nominations for both the Natchez Regional Medical Center board of trustees and the St. Catherine Creek Utility Authority.

The terms of four hospital board members are expiring, while the five-member St. Catherine Creek authority has three vacancies due to resignations.

• The board gave Slover and County Administrator Joe Murray the authority to negotiate with Waste Management and Waste Pro to see which company can give the county the best deal on garbage collection.

Waste Management currently collects the county’s garbage. The City of Natchez recently switched from Waste Management to Waste Pro for garbage collection service.

• The board told Road Manager Robbie Dollar to contact the proper authorities about a utility line owned by the Broadmoor Utility Association that has broken because the board has no authority to address the issue. Dollar said the line ran under a bayou, but had recently broken due to erosion around it.

• The board voted to allow Murray to transfer $25,000 from the Metro Narcotics forfeited assets account for the purchase of a new Metro vehicle.

 

  • Anonymous

    If fines for littering prove to be difficult to collect, we could always try public whippings. My congratulations go to those trying to fix the problem.

  • Anonymous

    Add these fines to the list of uncollected justice court fines and you will have a lot of IOUs. ALL justice court judges must step up and enforce all fines levied in their courts. Stepping down if you don’t want to enforce them would be a better solution. Maybe we could have public whippings of judges NOT doing their job?

  • Anonymous

    Carter seems to realize that the very people that live in the hoods that “can’t pay the fines” are the people littering. Catch them littering, put their picture in the paper and fine the hell out of them. Make them work off the fines by cleaning up litter on the roads. At least while they are cleaning litter they will be working, that is something they haven’t done before.

  • Anonymous

    Have ‘em in a green and white suit while they’re doing it!

  • Khakirat

    Yea, the BOS need to be leaders and the over million dollars fines all ready not paid in Adams county this will add to the issue!! The BOS will have relatives and friends as the past fines and let them off the hooks!! If any taxpayer has evidence of this with names need to report this to the ND so they can put in print to have facts to the burden of truth of this matter so we can bring this out if its truthful to the board members!!! I have heard this for years so whats’ what??!! If they was as focused on getting this over million dollars in fines as the headlines of the ND about litter Adams county would have money for the community chest HUH!!

  • Anonymous

    Am I out of order to say that it seems the same sort of lazy, shiftless folks who commit about 95% of the crime around here are the ones who have no respect for themselves or anyone else, the same ones who cry and whine about being mistreated, who are nothing but a blight on society, and throw chicken bones and boxes out the windows of their automobiles: the ones who are in the lincolns and cadillacs waiting in the anything free giveaway lines with obscene lyrics coming out of their rolled down windows in August enabling folks from Morgantown to Roux 61 to hear their trashy music, the ones who do not have a father figure in their lives and blame everyone else for their idiocy?
    I agree with Mr. Grennell. A $1,000 fine for littering in Adams County including the city should be levied and put into force with jail time until the fine is paid. This is a completely uncalled for act that shows contempt and utter lack of respect for us all. We need officers of the courts who will get off their tails and do their jobs, not what we are stuck with now!
    I was in Toronto a few years back. A cigarette butt or gum wrapper is an automatic $1,000 fine. The sidewalks are 20-25 feet wide, the streets are wide, and there is not one of the aforementioned objects on them. Perhaps it is a different class of people. A section of society who are proud of what they have and have class, not a group of people with intelligence quotients just barely above who Jane Goodall studied.

  • Anonymous

    Print the name of the ticket winners in the ND Crime Reports daily, case solved.

  • Anonymous

    This whole thing could be avoided if people would keep a plastic bag from the grocery store in their vehicle. I do this and when i get home I empty the bag and put it back in the car or get a new one if it is messed up. There is no excuse for littering. I suggest fines to start and then if they do it again make them pick up trash. anymore it is not just soda cans and food containers it is whole bags of household trash??? really people???? that’s just pure laziness!!!

  • Anonymous

    They don’t have any grocery plastic bags – they already threw them out the window!

  • Anonymous

    LOL you got a point there….

  • Anonymous

    Totally agree, BUT, I have found generalizing and stereotyping usually makes one look a tad embarrassed when they find out their stereotype is NOT the only one taking part in a behavior that most of us find deplorable. I have seen litterers from all walks of life. I’ve been riding behind a many of pick-up trucks, and because they either don’t have their garbage/trash secured, this Bubba is leaving a trail of garbage on the road, behind him. I’ve seen, the same type of person, also not only throw his cigarette butt out onto the road, but I’ve seen them stop and empty their car, literally, of the trash contents in their vehicle. I’m all for the fines, and there should be concrete ways of catching these vermin, because as Grinnell said, the LEOs can’t be everywhere at all times. I would bring up cameras in known areas of violations, capturing tag information, but some will say where would the cost to fund them and their upkeep and monitoring go? My key point, while we can all make sweeping generalizations about groups of people, let’s not think for one minute, they are the rule.

  • Anonymous

    This is a cultural learning process, you have to teach the younger generation that littering is not appropriate, not show them you can ride down the road throwing junk out of the windows for them to observe and imprint that norm in their psyche. Most European countries I have seen in the past are pristine, their culture has always been not to tolerate this behavior.

  • Anonymous

    This is a cultural learning process, you have to teach the younger generation that littering is not appropriate, not show them you can ride down the road throwing junk out of the windows for them to observe and imprint that norm in their psyche. Most European countries I have seen in the past are pristine, their culture has always been not to tolerate this behavior.

  • Anonymous

    I am not sure who you are talking about but it is certainly not me nor my family. Again your culture litters as well. Mine in my house are taught. Are yours? Oh and yeah we recycle, pick up garbsge that is not ours if we see it. Our neighborhood association has a strict no litter policy which is why we don’t have any. The litter my son and I picked up was dropped from a garbage truck. What makes you think we all tolerate that behavior? Bigotry?

  • Anonymous

    “You” means “we” in the above post, cultural refers to the culture of all society, not any particular race. Please re-read the comment in this manner and you will see my point. I agree to the fullest there are “trashy” people in all races, thus society needs to change that “culture”. Your neighborhood association obviously has a good culture with its no litter policy. Keep it up and I hope that culture spreads since I also pick up the volume of trash along about a mile of road leading to my home area.