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Feb 20, 2003 to Feb 6, 2013

Revised Revised Panhandling Sign Text


The Selectboard will be taking up the matter of a possible panhandling sign at tonight's meeting, and for the momentous occasion a new draft of proposed language has been given to the board for consideration:

“Brattleboro is a compassionate community and recognizes that it is legal for people to carry signs or to ask for money in public places. We are also committed to the safety of every resident and visitor in our town and recognize that aggressive or threatening behavior can cause legal activites to become illegal. If you feel threatened, you can call the Police at 802-257-7950 or dial 9-1-1 in an emergency. If you need food, shelter, or other assistance, you can call 2-1-1 for referral to local service agencies.”

A cover note makes clear that Town staff do not endorse either this sign or the previous one, but provide the text to the board to help them in their decision making.

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 #

I can't believe this is still

I can't believe this is still a continuing discussion. Putting the 211 number is useless. First, you would need to actually have a phone and second, unless you're only hungry, sick or homeless during business hours you're out of luck.?
So while those who may feel " threatened " by the person asking for money can call the police and probably get a fairly quick response the people who are actually in need of help get a suggestion of where to call and maybe, in a few hours or a few weeks, someone might help you.
Is this really the best our town leadership can come up with?
Is this continuing need to come up with the perfect sign because of pressure from the downtown businesses organization?
Shame on us for not trying harder.

 
 #

Put this thing to bed tonight and get on with it.

If it’s true that “Brattleboro recognizes that it is legal for people to carry signs or to ask for money in public places” then drop the sign idea. Any time an incident between people on public streets becomes a criminal offense or involves the police, those offenses are already outlined and known.

If the town wants to place signage that bad, have a sign that succinctly says:
In an emergency dial 9-1-1 or call the Police at 802-257-7950
For food, shelter, or other local agency assistance, call 2-1-1

Or, better yet,

Don’t put up any sign.

As soon as the town publicly states in posted signs, the phrasing it’s “legal for people to carry signs or to ask for money in public places” the town has negated the purpose of the sign and stepped in potential legal do-do should a panhandler feels the need to challenge it through legal services. If you don’t think so, ask your Legal Unit.

Put this thing to bed tonight and get on with it.

 
 #

Crime Watch association

KAlden: "Is this continuing need to come up with the perfect sign because of pressure from the downtown businesses organization?" 

Shift this thing back to downtown businesses. They and community people members can legally form a Crime Watch association, which, while not a perfect solution, tends to put alleged criminals on notice. Have that association make up the sign and have its "Legal Unit" approve the wording.

 

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