First Reading of an Aggressive Panhandling Ordinance

Springfield city commissioners Monday took the next step down a path that could prove to be controversial. City commissioners heard the first reading of a new ordinance that would significantly limit panhandling within the city limits.

They adopted an ordinance in-use in Lakeland that defines aggressive panhandling.

Commissioners decided to take up the issue after Panama City passed its own ordinance last month. They're concerned, among other things, some of Panama City's homeless population will migrate to Springfield.

Mayor Robert Walker says it’s not final yet. "Tonight we had our first reading of the panhandle ordinance. We have to have two readings before we can vote on it. There were no comments as far as changes in the ordinance. So it will go forward as written to the next regular meeting to have a second reading and then vote on it."

There were very few people in the audience Monday night, but that could be a different story when the commission votes on this issue in June.

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