As the city of Grand Coulee gets pressured to enforce its cleanup laws, it might consider changing them, if necessary.
If city officials are worried about the cost of litigation in forcing residents to clean up their own property, they should at least consider a legal route other towns have taken: put the ordinance in the criminal, rather than civil, code.
Doing so no doubt comes with pros and cons on which the city’s attorney can offer advice, but the general thrust of the reasoning for it is that infractions are dealt with in a simpler manner, just like your last traffic ticket. If you have a reason for violating the law, you can tell it to the judge, then pay up or clean up.
Other cities have made it work. Grand Coulee can, too.
— Scott Hunter
editor and publisher