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Citizens discuss disturbances with Council

By Staff | Mar 15, 2013

A group of German Street residents addressed concerns they have for “chronic,” late night disturbances with members of the Town Council at Tuesday night’s meeting.

Betty Hodge, a seven-year resident of German Street, spoke for the group, who expressed their desire to find a positive solution for the issue.

Hodge described instances of yelling, speeding cars and destruction to private property, often occurring between the hours of 1 and 3 a.m. on Thursday nights.

In a phone interview Wednesday morning, Hodge said she was moved to reach out to Town Council after finding an inordinate amount of litter and debris along German Street on two consecutive Friday mornings, March 1 and 8.

“The downtown area was just a disaster zone,” she said. “It looked like Mardi Gras.”

At the meeting Tuesday, Hodge presented a letter written to the Town Council by fellow German Street resident Judy Shepherd, that listed instances of repeated vandalism to her property along the street as well.

Police Chief David Ransom acknowledged the claims and responded to the group’s concerns by encouraging them to call the police immediately when issues arise.

“Nobody is calling us when this stuff is going on,” he said.

Hodge explained that rather than just “responsive measures,” the group hopes to encourage the council to find ways to address the issue before it happens again.

Hodge said she wasn’t sure if legal action could be taken to encourage more oversight of local bars and their patrons, or if a greater police presence and further surveillance were necessary.

Mayor Auxer said further policing would help mitigate the situation, calling it “a manpower issue.”

“It’s a concern for all of us,” he went on to say.

Chief Ransom said he sympathized with the residents and has plans to schedule a third officer on Thursday nights, including one on foot patrolman.

Hodge said that after “just dealing,” with the issue for several years, she went to the Town Council and the police chief Tuesday as a call for help.

“I really hope they can do something,” she said.