Council Committee Will Wait Before Acting On New Ordinances
The City Council's Committee on Ordinances discussed issues with unlicensed peddling for nearly an hour before deciding not to take any action on changing city ordinances just yet.
Councilors voted to table the matter until March, 2016.
Police Chief David Provencher admitted the department needs "to do a better job of checking [peddlers] licenses" during Tuesday's meeting.
Councilor-at-Large Linda Morad made the motion to table the business to allow the chief and his officers time to better enforce laws already on the books.
"I'd prefer to wait until such time as the chief has a chance to instruct the men and women in the department to do some enforcement over the next few holidays" said Morad. "Then we'll be utilizing fact-based information to make changes that we need to."
His officers will get the opportunity to better enforce those laws through the next three major holidays where peddlers conduct the most business: Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Valentine's Day.
The Committee on Ordinances also declined to take any action on a proposed permitting process for panhandling until similar legal matters are decided in Worcester.
Worcester implemented two panhandling ordinances in 2013 that have since been challenged by the ACLU.
A recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling has returned the matter to the U.S. District Court, and that decision will determine how the City Council will pursue their proposed ordinance.