Tyler police chief criticized for not providing list of violators

TYLER — Tyler City Council members are not happy that Police Chief John Spindler has yet to produce a list of nuisance ordinance violators.

“I’m tired of this,” council member Erick Harper said. “One excuse was the computer wasn’t working. Before computers, we still got reports. It needs to be done. It takes just seconds to type up 12 names. We have a right to see them. I can’t see why we can’t get a list.”

The council members exchanged comments about the lack of reports from Spindler. City Administrator Robert Wolfington told the council that the police chief did stop prior to the council meeting at the Tyler Fire Hall to verbally report that 11 of the 12 residents in violation of city nuisance ordinance were in or nearly in compliance. The last one was holding out, claiming he had a right to his “hobby,” Wolfington said during the meeting.

The fact that other people had hobbies, too, like collecting cars, was discussed.

“If you’ve got stuff setting around everywhere, you have to be careful when naming names and not including everyone,” Mayor Greg Peter said. “Be fair. You need to encourage them to clean up their yards, not chew them out.”

Harper and Council member Scott Dressen both said it was time the police department sent someone in person, with written reports, to council meetings so that, not only will the council receive detailed information, but that the police department will be fulfilling the required duty of making a written report.

“That’s why I got on the council: to clean up the community,” Dressen said. “I don’t see why we can’t see the list. Spindler’s busy, but what about (officer) A.J. (Anderson)? He could come in and give the report.”

Wolfington said he would ask the personnel committee to meet on this matter. As far as the violators, Wolfington had also done some research.

“I’ve talked to the railroad who said they’d talk to Althoff (business) the next time they’re in town (about their machinery blocking the view of the tracks),” Wolfington said. They’ve talked to the resident on whose property Althoff stores some machinery, too, he said. “We have been taking care of the grass.”

“I can’t believe he wouldn’t have room for it on his lot if he’d clean it up,” Dressen said.