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City council looks at loosening panhandling regulations

Wilmington City Council got back to work Tuesday night after the holiday break. Among the issues discussed was loosening downtown panhandling regulations. What's termed "aggressive panhandling" is currently banned, which includes street performers. A new proposal would allow people to solicit downtown, but they'd need to buy a permit to do so in a six-block area near the riverfront. Some council members expressed concern for people who live nearby when it comes to musicians. Jim Quinn, mayor pro tem, explained, "You get a trumpet out there or an amplified guitar and it can be a whole different situation." Council members say they want to balance people's first amendment rights and public safety concerns. They'll vote on the new panhandling regulations in February. Also, the council accepted $250,000 in grant money from the governor's Crime Commission for Gang Prevention and Intervention. Council members also formally expressed their support for an Air Force One Museum in Wilmington. Margaret Haynes, the newest member of the Wilmington City Coucil, was part of these discussions after being sworn in Tuesday night. She is taking the spot of Jason Thompson who was elected to the New Hanover County Commission.

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This is getting old

You know, I'm really getting tired of the city council deciding to enact proposals that they feel are for our benefit without getting the input of the community in a realistic form such as a vote. Sure, they were elected by the public to make decisions, but it should be understood that they should get MUCH more input from citizens before deciding what they think is best for us. I'm just ranting, I know it'll never change.

Yaaay! More bums!

Just what we need downtown. I've noticed that there are still a few doorways that don't smell of vomit and urine. So now, the wino or crackhead will be able to simply stand on a street corner and sing for his spare change. I think I'll go buy a cheap guitar, and old hat, and start playing down on Front Street. Oh, I can't play the guitar, but if you're going to let bums/street musicians solicit money, who is in a position to judge their talent? Who gets to say "This man is a musician, but this man is a bum who found a guitar." In other words, you can't exempt street musicians because suddenly, every homeless bum will be a street musician and who the heck are YOU to say he's not? Leave the law as it is. Even better, start enforcing it!

yaaay!more bums!

you are not saying that all homeless people are bums. I panhandle to get food and things i need during this bad time in my life. My situation is that my ex husband beat the day lights out of me. Caused me to loose my job my house my kids and my car so dont call all of us panhandlers bums cause you are just twoo pay checks away from being in my situation

Common, I think we need to

Common, I think we need to also give some credit here to one of your favorite groups (sarcasm) -- the ACLU. They are the ones forcing the city to change the regulations stating "Freedom of Speech." You see, you can't restrict a bum's speech. If s/he wants to approach another individual and beg for money, that's his right. As you know, we individuals have no rights...!

If you folks would elect me Emperor...

...I would take care of the ACLU problem. The solution would involve hungry lions.

I know others would say I'm

I know others would say I'm pandering, but you've got my vote!

No more bums!!!

I agree with you Common. The City needs to make it tougher on the bums not easier. They are only a nuisance downtown. Also the County Commissioners should tackle this nuisance in the outlying areas particularly the Monkey Junction area.

Here Here!

Just make sure you get a permit before you play! Ha!

It's amazing that they want

It's amazing that they want to cut out someone playing an instrument however they can't do anything about the crowds that are downtown at night screaming and hollering things that are usually obscene. Ususally Thursday thru Sunday nights are terrible. We live downtown and that's all we hear at night. Most of the time this goes on until 4am in the morning. They want to fine someone for panhandling and yet they can't control the crowds. Looks like to me as someone is being paid off to let the bars and the bar crowd to continue. $$$$$$ speak louder that instruments!!!!!!!

Downtown Noise

Not that I condone people screaming as they walk down the street, but if you live downtown in the central business district, you have to expect some noise most of the time. This isn't Mayberry and the sidewalks don't roll up at 6pm. There will be crowds coming and going to bars and restaurants, and crowds of people tend to be noisy. The city worked hard to revitalize downtown. Back in the 80's, it was a ghost town. No one wanted to go there. They worked to bring people downtown, and that included restaurants and bars. Now, people pay big bucks for the opportunity tho live downtown so they can be right in the middle of a vibrant neighborhood. Realistically, the police can't have a massive presence downtown looking for loud people. That would cost too much and pull resources from other more important duties.

that certainly shows intelligence

just what downtown shoppers, diners, amd hotel visitors want -- street panhandling. Did anyone stop to think of the negative impact it will have on downtown trade? Let's see -- Go to Roys Riverboat Landing or Ruth's Chris for dinner. Theh face a gauntlett of panhandlers as you go to your vehicle. Do they give intelligence tests before you can run for office?

No test

No, there isn't a test and you can tell by looking at who is and has been elected.

Love having Ruth's Chris

Love having Ruth's Chris downtown, I can taste it now, and they comp valet parking so you don't have to deal with panhandlers. I wish I had time to be a panhandler, but I have a job.