North Judson May Consider Adding Part-Time Ordinance Enforcement Officer

North Judson Council President Wendy Hoppe; Police Officer Frank Thomas; Council Members Josh Brown, John Rowe, Jane Ellen Felchuk, James Young; Town Attorney Justin Schramm, Clerk-Treasurer Alicia Collins

The Town of North Judson may soon be adding a part-time ordinance enforcement officer.

Police Officer Frank Thomas asked the town council Monday to consider hiring someone for maybe 10 hours a week during the spring and summer months. “It’s going to generate that extra income that we maybe haven’t had in a while,” he said. “It’s going to reduce the unsightly properties by keeping the grass down, getting rid of all these couches in the alleys and bent up cars. It’s going to alleviate a lot of the pressure from the police department having to do these things.”

Thomas said he often spends hours a day dealing with lawn violations, time he says could better be used ridding the town of criminals. He pointed out that someone working for $15 an hour for 10 hours a week would cover their own salary cost just by writing three citations.

Council member James Young agreed it would be a good deal for the town. “We continue to see people move into this town and new houses come up,” he said. “If you have someone that all they worry about is ordinances, now we have somebody who’s specifically worrying about making sure our town looks nice, things are kept up, and I think that just brings more people, when they drive through North Judson, say, ‘Hey, this is a beautiful place. It’s a great town.’ So I think it’s definitely a positive idea.”

While Thomas was more concerned about yard cleanup, council member John Rowe said the town could also use a dog catcher, after numerous complaints of loose animals have been presented to the town recently. Whether or not that would be the same person remains to be determined.

Council members agreed to think about the proposal before possibly taking action at a future meeting. Town Attorney Justin Schramm said an additional appropriation would likely be required in order to hire someone, which means a formal public hearing would have to be held.