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Stevens Point could soon fine residents for fighting fines

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STEVENS POINT Wis. (WAOW) Officials for the city of Stevens Point proposed that residents should pay a fee to appeal property violations, such as failing to shovel sidewalks.

“The goal here is for people who have property maintenance violations – and choose to appeal that violation – to show up to the appeal meeting. We want them to actually show up,” said Stevens Point Mayor Mike Wiza.

But as of Friday, appeal meetings still take place once a month at 6 p.m. which can be difficult for residents. “Some people aren’t able to rearrange their schedule to attend the meetings,” said Polly Dalton, Alderperson for the 9th district. However, Wiza says if you made an appeal it is crucial to show up to the meetings. “If you think you’ve been wronged, show up and tell us why,” said Wiza.

Council member Mike Phillips originally brought the issue to the committee. When asked about why Phillips brought up this idea Dalton said, “I think he was frustrated at the number of people who didn’t show up at the meetings for the appeals.”

The Stevens Point’s Public Protection Committee discussed the idea of a fee to dispute property maintenance violations, however, not everyone on the committee likes the idea. “I absolutely hope that it does not go through and am currently doing my best to argue that it doesn’t,” said Dalton.

For the city of Stevens Point, filing an appeal is a timely process and officials said many resources are wasted when those who file a property appeal don’t show up for the meetings.

“90 plus percent don’t show up and it makes it very difficult for us to try and – you know – hear both sides of it if one side doesn’t even show up,” said Wiza.

So far, the committee has not taken any immediate action but if fines were to be placed on appeals and the property owner who filed the appeal wins the case, then the appeal fine will be refunded.

The next step is for Mayor Wiza and the committee to have another discussion, however, there isn’t a date set in place.

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