Councilman Sean Dunne Turns in Residents For Parking Violations. From the Portsmouth Police Chief’s Daily Briefing.
A Portsmouth City Councilman turned some Scioto Trail neighbors in for parking violations, but police had another opinion.
Portsmouth City Councilman Sean Dunne complained to police about someone parking in the yard at a home on the Scioto Trail.
When police arrived on the scene at 11:58 am, they said there was gravel down where the cars were parking. They decided not to follow up with the residents because the area had been properly improved for parking.
Officers checked a second Scioto Trail address a few minutes later, also at Councilman Dunne’s request, for the same issue.
The officer observed no vehicles in the yard but noted the grass was freshly mown. However, the officer said they had spotted vehicles in the yard in the past. The officer noted there just isn’t really any parking in the area.
Police said they would advise the resident of the complaint, but felt the yard probably was the safest place to park in that situation.
After the initial release of this article, Councilman Sean Dunne issued a statement to SCDN.
“You have your story wrong. I didn’t send anything to the police. This was submitted in my ward report which is something that all others on council do, as it’s an opportunity to inform the city manager about issues. This was submitted after I got multiple code enforcement complaints, and is also part of the discussion of improving code enforcement.” He further stated, “All your reporter has to do is watch council meeting to see it discussed.”
Here is a copy of the police report. We have redacted the specific addresses and the name of the responding officer.
As per Councilman Dunne’s request, we reviewed the ward report. Here is that full report.
We asked this follow-up question to Councilman Sean Dunne: “So, is it your assertion that your list that you handed out was received by the police department? Then, they acted on their own accord to look into these specific properties at those specific times?”
Councilman Dunne responded with a lengthy quote:
“When a member of council is contacted by the public, we relay the message to the city manager, whether at a council meeting or at another time, and it’s up to the city manager to then proceed with addressing the issue. In this case, it appears he communicated with the police department about some of the issues. Council is not supposed to communicate directly about these issues with the police department, as that is the role of the city manager.”
Mr. Dunne stated that the assertion that he made the complaint to the police department “simply isn’t true”.
With passion, Councilman Dunne continued. “To end on a positive note, I am glad that the current city council has committed so strongly to the improvement of code enforcement. We have initiated a number of measures that will improve code enforcement in our city (updating ordinances, supporting new hire of Andy Gedeon, entering a contract to produce data visualization of code enforcement, new structural organization, etc.), and this is something that has been long overdue. It is also a project that can be difficult to clearly demonstrate to the public.”
Dunne concluded his comments with, “I’m at least glad that we are getting more media attention to our efforts so that more of our residents will continue to discuss code enforcement. There is still a lot more we need to get done, and it’s important that members of the public are kept informed along the way.”