PORTLAND -- A popular mural at a Portland park was vandalized again Tuesday, just hours before a meeting set up to discuss ideas on how to stop the tagging.
The neighborhood association had organized a meeting with city officials after graffiti started showing up in the area, including at Wilshire Park, located at the intersection of NE33rd Avenue and Skidmore Street.
Tuesday's tagging marked the third time in the past month that the park mural has been vandalized.
The president of the neighborhood association, Al Ellis, said area residents have come up with ideas on how to protect the mural, but they need the city's help.
How does a community like ours deal with a graffiti problem? You can't do it alone. You have to do it as a city and as a neighborhood, Ellis said.
During the evening meeting, Portland Parks and Recreation agreed to team up with neighbors to try and prevent future problems. Their plan includes installing a surveillance camera, and possibly applying a permanent coating that would make it easier to remove graffiti painted over it.
Here are some other key points in the plan:
1.) Graffiti removal services will remove the graffiti on the mural.
2.) The original mural artist will be contacted to find out if she is interested in restoring the mural to its original quality. If not, other artists in the community have volunteered their services.
3.) Graffiti Abatement will determine how much it will cost to apply a permanent coating that will allow relatively easy removal of graffiti. It will also be determined how much it would cost to remove the permanent coating, should the need be in the future.
4.) The neighborhood association will form a committee of volunteers to monitor the mural daily.
5.) The neighborhood association board will vote to approve this plan at its bi-monthly meeting next Monday. One option will be to commit to the refurbishing and preserving of the original mural. A second option would be to paint over the existing mural and apply for funding to create a new mural that is densely designed (filled with more detail), which, according to RACC, would be less likely to be tagged. (This second option would involve a year-long process, whereas the first option would be started ASAP.)
6.) A goal will be to clean up future tagging of the mural within 24 hours. This will require enhanced organization and communication, both of which will be built into the Memo of Understanding.