COSTA MESA — After months of city staff and department collaborations, research and debate, the City Council on Tuesday approved a new graffiti ordinance, one that is designed to tighten the belt on taggers and vandals.
The ordinance was adopted after a 3-to-1 vote, with Mayor Allan Mansoor voting against it. Councilman Eric Bever was absent.
Much of the vandalism in Costa Mesa is committed by taggers, who are usually minors, Officer Jason Chamness said. The graffiti ordinance holds parents or guardians responsible for their children's acts, and requires them to pay the costs of the damages to the city. It also allows the city to go after vandals to recover the victims' costs.
"One thing that I like is the whole idea of cost-recovery," Councilwoman Wendy Leece said. "In other words, the expense involved in repairing the vandalism and making the families, or the parents, responsible for that, sends a very strong message."