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GR leaders postpone vote on panhandling restrictions | News

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GR leaders postpone vote on panhandling restrictions
GR leaders postpone vote on panhandling restrictions

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- The city commission postponed a vote Tuesday night on a new panhandling ordinance.

The ordinance would make it illegal for people to hold signs at street corners and ask for money. They also would not be able to panhandle within 15 feet of a bus stop, bathroom, or an ATM. It was based on the ordinance already in place in Kentwood.

The postponement passed by a 4-2 vote. Mayor George Heartwell indicated that he wanted to see a study group of people with diverse perspectives review the panhandling issue.

A man disappointed in the delay told commissioners, "Having scheduled it already for a vote tonight and then have taken it right off the agenda...it's a little cowardly. And I know some of the commissioners have stated their opinions on it, and I'd like to hear opinions of all commissioners."

A man against the proposed ordinance said, "I'm really hopeful that you'll all consider the fact that not only are each of those people who asks for money somebody's family member, they're our community members. They're not our outcast citizens."

No vote is expected for several months.


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