Tampa City Council Passes Ban on Panhandling

Soon to be gone?
TAMPA (2011-10-6) -

The Tampa City Council today passed a preliminary panhandling ban, after more than a year of controversy.

City Council Chairman Charlie Miranda came in to cast his vote while still recuperating from surgery he had over the summer. He thought he was needed, since the Council split a 3-3 tie vote in September on banning panhandling on city streets.

But they did not need Miranda's vote. Council members Yvonne Yolie Capin and Frank Reddick changed their previous votes.

The new ban allows panhandling on Sundays and newspapers to be sold on street medians every day.

It also places the city's top 10 dangerous intersections, which include sections of Bruce B. Downs, Fowler and Hillsborough avenues, off-limits to everyone.

Reddick says he supported the ban after speaking to the publisher of the Florida Sentinel Bulletin.

"I strongly rejected any ban that would have denied the only African American newspaper in this city not to allow them to sell their newspaper," Riddick said.

Miranda commented on the change of votes.

"Well, after I hear all these honorable council members speak, what I am I doing here?" he said as the crowd laughed and applauded.

Mary Mulhern was the only council member to vote against the ban.

The ban will be up for a second and final vote October 20.

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