Leigh Armstrong

The borough assembly is considering adding fines to violations of more than 200 municipal codes, including $50 for aggressive panhandling, $50 for failure to pick up dog waste and $250 for sweeping litter into gutters.

The assembly April 4 sent the resolution to the civic affairs committee for review.

The resolution covers a range of code violations that had been approved by the borough assembly in the past but never had a specific fine attached to them.  

“We spent several months going through the code and there were a lot of (fines) missing in their entirety,” Police Chief Roy Leggett said. 

The resolution proposes a single list of all fines in Skagway code, Leggett said. Previously, officers would have to go through individual codes to find if there is a fine attached to a violation, Leggett said. 

Assemblymember Orion Hanson expressed shock at the list of fines and the amounts attached to infractions. 

“Two hundred and fifty dollars for dirty gutters? A hundred bucks for sleeping in your car? My grandfather napped (in his vehicle) every time he dropped my grandmother off,” Hanson said.

Hanson said the municipalities’ responsibility is not to punish every code violator. “Kids riding their bicycles down the sidewalks is fifty bucks. I don’t know, but this feels kind of malicious to me,” he said.

“We don’t go out there and write every single ticket we can find, but if you don’t have something attached to (the code), it’s really unenforceable,” Leggett said.

For those who violate the codes, the list of fines would allow officers to take definitive action, the police chief said.

Assemblymember Steve Burnham questioned which committee should review the proposed fines. The finance committee could review the dollar amounts but may not be familiar with the background on all the code violations. 

“(The resolution) touches on civic affairs and public safety,” interim borough manager Tom Healy said. 

Assemblymember Dan Henry made a motion to send the resolution to the civic affairs committee for review. The motion passed unanimously. 

After review by the civic affairs committee, the fines will come back to the borough assembly for consideration.