BRADENTON, Fla. -- For nearly two hours, Manatee County commissioners discussed a new proposal that would limit panhandling in some busy parts of the county during a regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday.
“This ordinance is not aimed at panhandling. This ordinance is aimed at pedestrian and traffic safety, right? The words, 'panhandling and begging' do not appear in this ordinance,” county attorney Mickey Palmer said.
The proposal talked about at the meeting would apply to anyone on certain medians on some busy roads in the county.
The would not be allowed on those medians, unless they were crossing the street.
The ordinance would apply to everyone, which would make the proposal constitutional, according to Palmer.
Still, a heated interaction between a Bradenton man and panhandler in July that became public, ignited the conversation.
“You can clunk it in safety, but it’s not going to fool people. It’s a slow-motion modified attack on the severely poor in the county,” one member of the public stood up and said.
Manatee County Commissioners voted to advertise ordinance for future a public hearing to decide whether or not to approve the proposal.