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Orange County Focus

GARDEN GROVE : Spray Can, Marker Lockup Proposed

April 22, 1993|ROBERT BARKER

City Council members this week proposed an ordinance that would require business owners to lock up spray paint and marking pens in an effort to keep them out of the hands of graffiti taggers.

Council members said they expect to approve an ordinance in about a month.

City Atty. John Shaw said the city has the authority to require that spray paint and other materials be locked up. "We can do it and probably pretty quickly," he said.

Councilman Bruce A. Broadwater, a leading advocate for the anti-graffiti ordinance, said passing such a law would dry up a major source of graffiti-making materials.

"There is no doubt that kids are stealing" the materials, Broadwater said. "If they can take a chance and hang upside down over freeway signs, they'll take a chance and steal spray paint and markers."

Broadwater said the outbreak of graffiti is demoralizing to residents. "It's like living in dirt," he said. "People hate it. They talk about it more than anything else."

Mayor Frank Kessler said he saw several youngsters stealing spray paint from a major store recently. He said he notified the store manager and then followed the youths outside. They dropped cans of spray paint when they ran to their vehicle, he said.

City Manager George Tindall said the city spends about $200,000 a year on graffiti removal. The expense doesn't include the time of "hundreds of volunteers" who participate in the cleanup.

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