City commissioners to vote on “aggressive” panhandlers ordinance

Cedartown City Commissioners will be considering an ordinance that will take an aggressive stance against panhandling.

A draft resolution was presented to commissioners this week that defines aggressive panhandling and gives the ordinance teeth to enforce it once it becomes policy.

“Anybody that’s trying to invest in the city of Cedartown that’s open for business and wants to be here, we want to make sure we’re protecting them as much as possible,” said city commissioner Jordan Hubbard, who sponsored the reworked ordinance.  “We’ve heard customers say to those business owners that they would come at a different time just because they knew someone was sitting out front panhandling…those people might show somewhere else and not shop local.”

He says the ordinance would not slam the brakes on charities or other not-for-profit agencies that solicit funds.

“The key on this one is that its aggressive,” said Hubbard.  “What its going to go after is those who won’t leave you alone.  It’s not the Shriner on the corner that’s asking for a dollar, its those people that are being aggressive and making the stories and making you believe there is a problem and continuing on to try to get a few dollars.”

The new ordinance would not allow for aggressive panhandling in any public place or on private property without permission.

The proposed ordinance will go before city commissioners for a vote on Monday evening.