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Resident wants landlords accountable for tenants

April 03, 2003|by RICHARD BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - A West King Street resident who started a Neighborhood Watch program last summer told the Waynesboro Borough Council Wednesday night that borough police did a good job clearing the area of illegal drug activity and violent crimes.

Johnathan Cain, 28, of 107 W. King St., told the council that he fears a return of the problems again this summer because "They're getting out of jail and they're coming back. We're seeing the same things again."

Cain, an announced Republican write-in candidate for a Second Ward council seat this year, asked the council to consider passing an ordinance that he said worked well in the Southern California community where he used to live.

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"We had major drugs and gangs there. That's the last thing I want to see here," Cain said. "I want to raise my children in a place where that doesn't happen."

The ordinance he's proposing is aimed at landlords who rent houses and apartments to drug dealers and perpetrators of violent crimes, he said.

It would subject landlords to fines and even seizure of their property by the municipality for failure to evict tenants who have been arrested repeatedly on drug and other criminal charges, he said.

The property owner would be warned the first time a tenant is arrested, he said. If police have to continue to return to the property then the landlord would be fined. If enough offenses occur, the municipality would take over the property, Cain said.

The council took no action on the request.

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