Jefferson City Officials Discuss Raising Fines
JEFFERSON CITY - City leaders discussed raising the fine limit in municipal court during a public safety committee meeting Thursday.
The changes would impact offenders and their pockets. Code, ordinance, or rule violators that were once fined $500 will now be charged $1,000. That way, a judge can sentence violators to more severe fines when an individual commits more severe crimes. Jefferson City Counselor Doug Hilbert said keeping things in proportion makes more sense for the city, but some drivers disagree.
"As we raise the minimum fines we want to proportionally raise the other fines to higher level if the judge and prosecutor want to do it," Hilpert said. "There's no minimum they have to do on that, but on the more serious offenses, they want to be able to have that authority."
"Well I think to raise the prices that much is a little bit much to raise them. I could see about another twenty to thirty dollars, but not another hundred or hundred and whatever dollars," said city resident Elizabeth Bundy.
The new rules seem to be pulling revenues, possibly to make up for a low city budget. City leaders said revenues for the city have been dropping for the last few years, and this change in policy may in fact help to cover some of the lack in funds.
The Public Safety Committee also redefined specific wording, including who is considered a pedestrian, which now allows those in wheelchairs or motorized wheelchairs to use the sidewalks. Before this change, the law as it was written did not specify pedestrians other than on foot.
The ordinances will now go to the city council for approval at their meeting Monday, August 12.