With a serious shortage of police on the street, no new hires in sight, we’re going to make holding a sign up on the corner illegal? Really?
Besides the slight problem with the U.S. constitutional protection of free speech, the city is going to “fine” or “incarcerate” panhandlers? Why not just give them minimum-wage jobs cutting grass on vacant lots instead? Between the wasting of time of valuable police officers making- oh around $30 an hour, and the cost of paperwork, court time, jail- the fines that will be levied and not collected…
Only from the wizards the citizens of Dayton elect:
Dayton’s new ordinance, which could be voted on next Wednesday, would require a soliciting permit to hold any sign asking for money, just as a panhandling permit is currently required to actively ask for money. The new ordinance also would restrict the times, places and manner that a person can hold such a sign.
Cook said the ordinance would make most offenses a fourth-degree misdemeanor.
“It’s an arrestable offense instead of just a ticket, and the maximum penalty is 30 days in jail and a $250 fine,” Cook said. “Because of overcrowding, will they spend serious time in jail? Probably not. But I would like to think the arrests will make a difference (in stopping the cycle).”
Laws that can’t be enforced are laws we don’t need. The legal defense on this one, when the ACLU steps in, will cost the city thousands.
Let’s just think about this for a minute- is wearing a shirt that says “I’m homeless please help” illegal too?
Or- holding a sign that says “Free hugs*” in big type- with smaller type “*donations appreciated” illegal?
Or, having a bottle of windex- and offering window cleaning- like in LA- for a donation?
Is this the most important thing our city leaders can do?
Too bad you can’t recall them.
Donations still being accepted to the legal fund to challenge the petition process in the charter if you think this kind of legislation is asinine.
The City Commission should only be working on a solution to our safety forces hiring issues right now- and not be allowed to go home until they come up with a solution. We can’t afford to have a city without adequate police protection.
Those pan-handlers sure keep me awake at night- how about you?