Not too long ago, Chief of Police Ed Ormonde and city staff approached the Ripon City Council about the unsafe conditions at the intersection of West Milgeo Avenue and North Acacia Avenue.
In particular, they needed approval from elected leaders to install, in this case, a stop sign.
But upon further review of the municipal code “Traffic Control Devices,” Ripon, as it turns out, has the only such ordinance where the Chief of Police and staff must first get the go-ahead from council.
“Other cities provided the authority to either the Chief of Police or City Engineer,” according to Ormonde’s report at the Jan. 8 public session.
It was also that first step towards changing the ordinance in order to “alleviate future confusion over authority and give clear guidance to requirements needed to install traffic control devices.”
No discussion was necessary for the first reading and introduction to the proposed amendment.
The current process consists of Ripon, periodically, getting requests from the public to install traffic control devices throughout the city.
From there, each request is evaluated by a staff working group consisting of the Chief of Police (Ormonde), City Engineer – in this case, City Administrator Kevin Werner – and Director of Public Works (Ted Johnston).
The engineering staff will then gather traffic data while evaluating state mandates in determining if the device is warranted.
If so, the proposal is forwarded to the City Council.
Ormonde’s position of Chief of Police, once approved – possibly at the Feb. 12 meeting – would be granted authority to OK the installation of stop signs, for example, when all applicable warrants are met.