Fairlawn City Council is considering an ordinance to regulate panhandling.
Mayor Bill Roth tells AkronNewsNow there has been a steady increase in panhandling in the city. " I'd say that in the past year to year and a half we've seen it slowly building. Obviously the economy is terrible out there. People are trying to do some self-help. But we do have some concerns, basically traffic concerns. West Market Street is a very heavily traveled road. Our main concern is safety, mainly obviously for the residents, but also for the people who drive through the city of Fairlawn, and walk through the city. But also for the individuals panhandling. We have concerns about making sure they don't step into traffic, that they don't approach moving cars," says Roth.
Roth says Fairlawn's Law Director and Police Chief are studying the legalities of the proposed legislation before council gets a chance to vote on it.
He emphasizes that the city is not trying to ban panhandling , just regulate it. " The Ohio Supreme Court says panhandling can't be banned, however it can be regulated," says Roth.
Fairlawn joins Akron which has taken time on a proposed panhandling ordinance that would limit how close panhandlers could stand next to expressway ramps and main street corners.
Bill Roth says Fairlawn should have a panhandling ordinance on the books by summer.