posted on January 14, 2014 17:21
At first glance Batavia City Council found a lot to like in next year’s proposed city budget.
The financial plan authored by City Manager Jason Molino reduces the tax rate by $.03 per thousand and focuses on neighborhood improvement and quality of life issues.
One of the many proposals in that category is to institute a “sweeps” program similar to that in the City of Buffalo.
“We wouldn’t be violating anybody’s rights, Batavia Police Chief Shawn Heubusch said. “We’re going to be following the letter of the law whether it’s through code enforcement, through vehicle and traffic enforcement or penal law enforcement. We will also be partnering with parole and probation. The idea is to address some of these neighborhood issues, some of these problem areas that pop up from time to time, as well as reconnect with the neighborhood on a more personal level.”
“We’ll be going through the neighborhoods and basically just trying to find out if there’s anybody wanted in those areas, find out what type of violations are out there,” he said. “Vehicle and traffic enforcement is huge when you’re dealing with those neighborhood issues, you know, you got loud music, you got squealing tires, that type of thing. We’ll be going door-to-door, introducing ourselves, getting to know all the neighbors and basically enforcing anything that we see fit.”
Chief Heubusch says it’s about gaining residents’ trust and getting them to come to police to help deter crime.
“This is hopefully going to get us to a point where we can hedge some of those issues off before they occur,” Chief Heubusch said. “Do I think it’s going to solve everything? Absolutely not, but I think it’s going to help.”
“It’s a lot easier to put a face to the name when you’re dealing with them face-to-face rather than calling anonymously,” he said. “When we’re going through these sweeps and we’re walking, talking door-to-door with people, that’s a good opportunity for people to say, ‘Hey, not for nothing but a month ago this happened to me, this is what I saw.’ It’ll give us that information rather than make that phone call and expect everybody to wave down that car that’s driving by.”
The budget has to be adopted by council by April 1st. It will be holding a series of departmental budget workshops, the first of which is Tues., Jan 21 at 6 at City Hall.