Village issues 60 tickets for failing to clear sidewalks

When the weather outside turned frightful last week, it led to something not-so-delightful inside the mailboxes of some Oxford Village residents and property owners.

Between Nov. 27 and 28, a total of 60 tickets were issued to folks who failed to remove the snow from their sidewalks in accordance with the village’s new ordinance, adopted in September.

Each ticket carried a $50 fine.

Sixteen of the tickets were issued to homes in the Oxford Lakes subdivision, mostly along Woodleigh Way and Thornehill Trail.

Fourteen properties along Washington St. (M-24) were cited for violations. Nine tickets were issued on Burdick St., plus another nine on East St.

The rest were issued to properties along Crawford, Mechanic, Center, Mill, Louck and Pleasant streets.

Village Manager Joseph Madore stressed the goal of the tickets is to gain compliance, not generate extra revenue.

“We don’t want your money. It’s not about the money,” he said. “We want people to just be responsible and get their sidewalks shoveled.”

Under the village’s new snow/ice removal ordinance, whenever “naturally-falling” snow or ice ceases to “fall or accumulate during daylight hours,” it must be “removed from the sidewalks within 12 hours after the cessation.”

If the snow or ice ceases to “fall or accumulate during the nighttime,” it must be “removed from the sidewalks by 7 p.m. the following day.”

Individuals who violate the ordinance face civil fines of “not less than $50 or more than $500, plus costs and other sanctions, for each infraction.”

“Each day that a violation continues shall be deemed an additional and distinct violation,” the ordinance states.

Repeat offenders face the prospect of increased fines.

The ordinance states, “For a second offense in any three-month period, the civil fine shall automatically be set at $150. For any additional offenses in any three-month time period, the civil fine shall automatically be set at $500.”

Madore noted that on Nov. 19, the village sent letters to about 140 properties along Washington and Burdick streets “giving them a heads-up” about the new ordinance.

“That’s where most of the problem has been (in the past),” he said.

Madore said the village is willing to work with people to ensure sidewalks stay clear and safe for pedestrians this winter.

“We would prefer to not collect the money,” he said.

17 Responses to "Village issues 60 tickets for failing to clear sidewalks"

  1. Kevin Kadrich   December 6, 2018 at 3:00 pm

    If it’s “not about the money”, then how about you knock on the person’s door and ask them why the walk is not cleared ?!?
    Or how about a first warning ?!?!
    From a previous Leader article “This is not aimed at Joe Schmoe who happens to miss a day getting his walk cleared.”
    Yet here they were on the very fist day of any half-significant snow fall, issuing $3000.00 worth of tickets !!

  2. Erik Dolan   December 6, 2018 at 3:44 pm

    Good afternoon Kevin. …pleased to see you’re continuing to keep up on local matters. If I may….The recent snowfall in question was preceeded by rain, freezing rain, and then turned into 3″ of snow. Of that snow, about one inch melted into the existing slush and subsequently turned into a sheel of ice on the sidewalks. …the sidewalks which young school children and the elderly walk on. When the federal, state, and county goverments adopt a policy of going door to door and personally requesting that citizens perform statutory responsibilities I will then lobby the village to follow in their footsteps.

    • Tony Hart   December 7, 2018 at 8:50 pm

      Oxford needs to give information to ALL concerned.Door to door information.

  3. J   December 7, 2018 at 8:01 am

    Glad to see a council member trying to tell lies. We can’t have truth even in hoa level public office. My drive and sidewalk in the village was pushed clear with little effort. And it had no ice form later that night. So save your BS for council meetings where you have the perception of importance.

    There are not even sidewalks in all of the village. So the village doesn’t care about young children and eldery. There isn’t even a crosswalk across pontiac (near the school)for these young children. Which tells me you would rather they get hit by a car then walk across winter stuff.

    Remember too that this is a service the residents offer the village. Public sidewalks cleared remove liability from the village for people injuring themselves. So again it is all about the money. Higher fine. Less time. BS reasons and giving legal loopholes for any half decent lawyer to sue the village over selective enforcement.

  4. Erik Dolan   December 7, 2018 at 10:13 am

    Let’s clear up any misperception- “J”….there is zero “importance” that comes with elected municipal government service at the village level. There’s no personal benefit or significance whatsoever. It actually costs council members money and valuable time. The last election had all positions running unopposed, so it’s clearly the least wanted gig in town. However…..someone has to fill the chairs and make well informed decisions. So if you’ld like to pick up the ball- “J”, feel free to step up and take a council seat next time. …or maybe even just attend a meeting. It’s always a bit comical how much chatter there is from keyboard warriors who have such strong convictions, yet won’t even make time to attend a public meeting where their input would be relevant. (No names in particular come to mind).

    Btw- Good luck with your HOA. Sounds like a dooz

  5. Kevin Kadrich   December 7, 2018 at 11:26 am

    Erik – It was only 60 homes / businesses.
    If it truly is “not about the money” and “we prefer not to collect the money”, a personal connection could have very easily been made.
    At the very least, a little latitude with a “First and Only Warning” could have been issued, especially in the face of a newly revised Ordinance that wasn’t enforced over the years and now all of a sudden is being enthusiastically enforced.
    All I’m suggesting is that all of the various Village representatives stop saying it’s not about the money, when it clearly is.
    And I will be at the next Council meeting to offer my objection to avoid any appearance of being a “keyboard warrior”.

  6. j   December 7, 2018 at 12:21 pm

    Keyboard warrior? Like you are now? Why do we have to attend a meeting when its clear you and other council members read and frequent community forums? Are you admitting that you are that incapable of doing your job that you won’t take community issues unless they are done at a meeting?

    What is the point in making time to attend a meeting when nothing is done? The new snow ordinance has been opposed from the start by the community. The Leader articles show that there have been people speaking out opposed to some of the changes at actual meetings. And you all went ahead anyways. The best part about all of this is that you even accused another council member of being to much on social media yet here you are showing your true character. Attacking village members that have issues because your time is more valuable and you pay to represent us. Because we are just keyboard warriors.

    If your time is valuable then why is ours less valuable? You can’t even get a decent web page. Hell you can’t even update the web page with the new council members. Yet you want those in the village to take you seriously? To give up their time for arrogant people like you?

  7. Emily L.   December 7, 2018 at 1:29 pm

    So what happens if I’m out of town for the weekend? What if it snows overnight and my husband is away for work and I can’t leave my toddler alone in the house until bedtime which is 7:30? Last winter my son was born and we were in the hospital a few days for labor and delivery alone and it snowed… Are any exceptions made? I agree that people need to be responsible but not all homes are being ticketed and there are extenuating circumstances. This seems over the top.

  8. J   December 7, 2018 at 1:30 pm

    It takes 2 years to go from this

    “An article such as this is not only humbling, but also serves as confirmation that it is ALWAYS good policy to speak for the voice of your constituents when given the opportunity.

    I am grateful for the opportunity to give back to the community that I love so much.”

    To calling constituents keyboard warriors and only accepting at meeting complaints.

  9. Erik Dolan   December 7, 2018 at 2:42 pm

    Kevin- It will be nice to hear from you in person. It will be a refreshing change from the typical “#Illbringthepopcorn” quips.

    J- It IS amazing how quickly one’s perspective changes once they are actually involved. If you do nothing residents complain, other residents complain if you do what the people want who actually take the time to call/text/email/ or sit down with you, and they also complain if you do something that impacts them directly. If you worry about the complaints you’ll never achieve anything. ….and the village achieving nothing is what got me involved to begin with. Oxford has made more progress in the last 2 1/2 years than anyone imagined possible. I stand behind those actions 100%, and make no apologies for them. For the people who want to spin their conspiracy theories suggesting that “it’s about the revenue”- have at it. It’s a marginally free country. But it’s a fable. It’s about ensuring that people take personal responsibility according to normal community standards. It’s really that simple. These concepts don’t appear out of thin air- people complain…and attempts are made to remedy the complaints. As of just today there was still a message board post on a local community page from years ago- that even then complained about resident’s lack of attention to clearing their sidewalks. It’s not a new issue. As for your personal slight- I say- “whatever”.

    Emily- Unfortunately I can’t provide direction for you in all of the “what if” scenarios. When people go away, others still use the sidewalks. We all contend with those questions. It’s up to each individual to find their own personal solution. When I go out of town I will either pay a service to clear the walks, or I’ll pay the ticket(s) that I have when I get back. Each individual has a responsibility to figure that out for themselves.

  10. j   December 7, 2018 at 4:35 pm

    Actually it is about lowering liability for the Municipality. Since they are public sidewalks the village is responsible for slips and falls from natural weather. By forcing residents to do it you remove the cost of the municipality needing to maintain it.

    You keep coming up with different excuses that don’t hold water in the slightest. So you stand by whining about a council member using social media when you yourself are now using social media? Glad you stand by being a hypocrite. That is the problem. You think you are right no matter what. You have stated as much in the past.

    You ask for people to give input, comment, take initiative. And then your words speak volumes. That no matter what people say, do, or complain about you will do what you want 100% of the time. The last time you asked for input about marijuana sold in the VIllage you said no matter what you will not change your mind. This isn’t about changing perspective once getting involved in politics.

    It is about someone now feeling arrogant and perception of importance. You said and did what you had to to get elected. And now that your in you don’t feel the need to live up to the “better vision” for the village.

    You say things have changed. Maybe some have. But your views expressed here and how you are expressing shows that you are as big of a problem as any of the past. You are supposed to serve the residents of the Village but instead you are showing you serve yourself.

    It isn’t a conspiracy theory. After years of not enforcing it the council wanted to pass $150 dollars. It was only after a council member that you’ve raged at before got it lowered to $50. It is all about the money and the shock value instead of doing what is right for the Village. No matter how much you label it a conspiracy doesn’t change the facts of the what has been said and done.

    Besides if you really cared about safe and clear sidewalks the village would have fined people for today. There is still snow and ice on sidewalks. A negligible amount but it isn’t enforced because of that super low amount. And yet the ordinance is ignored. Its about getting money from certain people and using discretion to ignore others. Hardly progress if you just move the problems under a different shell. Your own sidewalk wasn’t 100% clear either under the deadline. But hey it isn’t about the money even though was almost $150.

  11. Erik Dolan   December 7, 2018 at 5:05 pm

    I can’t keep responding to you…I really have better things to do, so this will be the end.

    First off- this is not social media, it’s the main media source of community news. That’s different from a self-aggrandizing social media page such as the one I was referring to. But we’re splitting hairs here.

    Secondly…..there is no perception of self-importance. It’s an inconsequential position in a tiny town, that pays nothing, that nobody wants. ….because they have to contend with people such as yourself.

    Lastly….. My sidewalks are almost always clear. …as typically are the other 3-4 that I snowblow if I go out before anyone else. And for the record- there was zero accumulation. When the time comes when I do miss (or skip) a day, I’ll be happy to drop off my fine. Later….

  12. j   December 7, 2018 at 6:23 pm

    So the community comes here to read and comment? That still falls under the definition of social media. Of course its different then a different page. I didn’t think any adult should need to make that clear.

    People such as my self? Now you are insulting me for having a differing opinion and calling you out on your arrogance? Statements like that are exactly what gives a perception of self importance. Some how you are better then me and talked down to. You volunteered to run. Don’t be a whiny baby now that you can’t do whatever you want. You keep saying you want people to be involved but the little involvement you have had here has you quitting in rage after lobbying several insults.

    Almost always clear is not part of the ordinance. And yes there was accumulation. Any one could have looked out their window last night and seen snow covering the sidewalk or driveway. Unless they treated it with an ice melting product. Then the little snow we had would have been taken care of. Any amount of snow even if it is a half a dozen flakes is accumulation if it doesn’t melt. That is the problem with the ordinance. There were several special weather statements from the NWS about roads.

    The Village and RC were out salting Thursday. Untreated roads were potentially slippery Thursday afternoon. Why is the Village wasting resources salting roads if there was no accumulation of snow and ice? It is amazing you can even pull your pants on in the morning with logic leaps like that.

  13. J   December 8, 2018 at 8:07 pm

    lol. J = Jeff Kasper

  14. Chris Peace   December 9, 2018 at 8:04 pm

    Just a suggestion, why not make it a “fix it” ticket? Fix the problem pay no fee?

    Also I’m just going to assume that if I’m being fined for not doing my sidewalk that it would be in lieu of a service someone else had to provide? So if I am paying the fee does that mean a public works employee went ahead and cleaned the sidewalk?

  15. Joe   December 13, 2018 at 12:56 pm

    This is really simple. Clear your sidewalks or make arrangements for someone to clear them for you. Problem solved.

    Seems to be a grand total of 3 people complaining. How many hundreds of people are thankful when you finally maintain your slippery sidewalks so the rest of us don’t slip and fall.

    Cheers to Erik for stepping up into a leadership position. Thanks for getting this done and taking all the arrows from those who sit in the crowd poke at you.

    • Kevin Kadrich   December 13, 2018 at 1:28 pm

      Well, based on the turnout at Tuesday night’s meeting and the Council’s decision to revamp the Ordinance, I’m guessing it was more than “three people” who had a complaint.
      For the record, I was not issued a ticket and my Bride makes VERY certain our walk is cleared immediately. As I stated at the meeting Tuesday night, I just felt they were rash and aggressive,
      We’ll hafta wait and see what the revamped Ordinance looks like.
      As for Mr. Dolan, he resigned Monday, although I don’t imagine it was from the “arrows”.


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