ACLU suit to proceed against city

Anti-panhandling wording still problematic for group

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Should rewrite it to say get a job, get help, or get lost!  The ACLU can take a hike!

The alternative is to match funding for a building and staff to give the homeless a safe haven to go to for the care and help they need then part of the problem is solved.  Go to the shelter!

Is this ordinance a good idea? Maybe we should start at the other end of this law and work backwards. The whole thing just may be a waste of the City’s time.

Consider the difficulty and low potential for enforcing such a measure:  It only takes a moment for a panhandler to ask someone for money or other assistance. If the person being asked gets upset and calls 911, it will take a few moments for police to respond, during which the panhandlher just walks away. The police then have to find the panhandler. IF they do find the “perpetrator,” then absent any bodily harm or theft, there is no proof the encounter even occurred. It’s a “he said, she said” situation. There would be no evidence of assault, no theft has taken place, just words exchanged between two people, which is not illegal. So basically there is no evidence in the case, just the word of the complainant.  If the panhandler does get found and issued a fine, how will he/she pay it, considering they were panhandling for funds in the first place?

The whole pursuit makes little sense, and is starting to look like a pointless and expensive exercise. The time and taxpayer funds invested in creating and defending this ordinance from legal challenges would arguably be better spent assisting the local homeless shelters and food banks, or on approving something that will bring economic benefit to the area so more folks can find jobs.

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