Thinking about breaking a city ordinance? Better be prepared to pay up — big time.
The Rockville City Council voted unanimously Monday night to increase fines for violating the city’s ordinances, in an effort to crack down on scofflaws.
The mayor and four-member council voted to hike the maximum fines for misdemeanor violations of city ordinances from up to $100 and 90 days in jail to no more than $1,000 and six months in jail.
The changes mainly deal with issues such as upkeep of homes and enforcement of various parts of the city code, Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton said.
The old fines weren’t enough to make an impact on some people who were “flouting” them, and the change is an effort to “put some teeth” into the fines, she said.
The city needed to do something to get the attention of repeat offenders who ignore the warnings they receive, she said.
She cited one property where officials have been unable to get the owner to make required changes, despite the fines.
Newton said she had been told that there was no rise in specific issues or complaints driving the bigger fines.