Parma levels huge fines for garbage cans left on tree lawn

PARMA, OH (WOIO) - Joe Mauretic is not a happy camper.

He got a $155 ticket and so did his wife for leaving his garbage cans on his tree lawn past 8 p.m. on collection day. The tickets were issued the next morning.

We didn't have to go any farther than his next door neighbor to hear the same story where Dan Mattress said, "My wife and I both got tickets for failing to bring our garbage cans in the day after trash pickup. A hardened criminal because I left my trash cans out?"

Two tickets for one offense? It stems from an ordinance that the council passed allowing the practice.

The statute is known as a "good neighbor statute," one designed to keep housing prices up. Things like keeping your grass mowed below six inches and taking your garbage cans in by the morning after pick up.

But a lot of folks think the housing inspectors enforcing the law are way out of line.

Dan says, "The city put forth the policy to take care of the run down homes, not trash cans sitting on the tree lawn."

As it turns out, the city hired several retired police officers to enforce the law.

But in cash strapped Parma, how to pay for them?  At $155 a pop, it pays for itself and then some. According to Dan, "The amount is ridiculous for trash cans.  For $155 each I would hope they would wash them and wax them for me."

The only option to paying the waiver amount is to take a day off and go to court.

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