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Keeping tabs on the City Council's activities so you don't have to

By Edward Ericson Jr. | Posted 4/16/2008

On the Agenda for April 7

Bill 08-0091 Pawnbrokers, Dealers in Secondhand Property, etc.--Daily Reports Would require pawnbrokers and others to keep electronic files of all their transactions, including photos of the bought and sold items, and submit that file each day to the police so they can check it against stolen property reports.

The Story A similar bill passed the House of Delegates this year but stalled in the Senate, according to 5th District City Councilwoman Rochelle "Rikki" Spector, because it only included pawnbrokers. Council President Stephanie Rawlings-Blake introduced this bill. "Right now these reports are put in a card file, a system that is very antiquated," she says. "We try to make it easier for the police to enforce the law when it comes to stolen property."

Bill 08-0093 Minors--Daytime Curfew Would extend curfew hours during school days. Currently, kids 16 and under are not allowed to hang out in stores or commercial establishments between 9 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.; the ordinance would extend the curfew to 7:30 a.m.

The Story"We've heard a lot of concerns . . . about lack of enforcement of this daytime curfew," Rawlings-Blake says. "We need to make sure that our young people are where they're supposed to be when they're supposed to be there."

Bills 08-0094 Construction Debris--Proof of Proper Disposal and 08-0095 Illegal Dumping--Forfeiture of Vehicle These ordinances, introduced by 12th District Councilman Bernard C. "Jack" Young, would clamp down on the problem of illegal dumping.

The StoryThe first ordinance would require a paper trail, appended to the building permit application, showing that any debris or construction waste generated by a renovation had been disposed of properly. City housing officials would not grant an occupancy permit until receiving this proof. The second ordinance is meant to hit jackleg contractors and disposal companies where they live, by seizing their vehicles when they're caught dumping crap illegally. "Some of my colleagues . . . say, `How would you enforce it?'" Young says. "Same way we enforce forfeiture of vehicles with drugs in them."

City Council Fact of the Week

The council introduced a bill to set the salaries of the director of public works and the city solicitor. They are $155,000 and $160,000, respectively.

City Council Quote of the Week

"I'm hoping this establishes a new gold standard." --11th District Councilman William Cole, introducing an ordinance that would generally require City Council approval of park closures lasting more than 72 hours--particularly those closures proposed by art students.

The next City Council meeting is scheduled for April 28, at 5 p.m.

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Mortgage broker goes bankrupt, seeks mortgage modification as taxpayers face mounting bailout bills

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