Alderman Ken Ortmann has a good idea. Unfortunately, neither the media nor Ken has explained it very well.
Now that I’ve read the legislation, let me try to explain it.
Right now, urinating in public is classified as indecent exposure, a sex offense. Alderman Ortmann’s bill wants to call it what it is: public urination. He believes that changing the offense’s classification will make it more likely that the charge will be taken through the court system.
Chief municipal judge Margaret Walsh agrees with the change of classification, but she opposes any reduction of the penalties for violations.
I agree with both of them. The ordinance should reclassify the crime and keep the penalties the way they are now. Urinating in public is offensive. It should be punished.
If any readers of the China Times (or one of the other hundred or so newspapers that picked up this story) are also reading this, there is something the stories did not tell you. Ken Ortmann is a very good alderman. He works every day to improve the quality of life in his ward and in the City. Read his bill. You’ll probably agree with it.