Bennington board approves panhandling ordinance
By Patrick McArdle
Staff Writer | November 25,2013
BENNINGTON - The Select Board voted Monday in favor of an ordinance intended to curb aggressive panhandling especially in the downtown.
Several dozen people, many of whom attended the previous meetings on the same topic, attended the meeting.
There were several objections from representatives of the Bennington County Coalition for the Homeless who objected to a provision that would prevent people from living in their cars on a public street or space.
The ordinance would make aggressive panhandling a civil violation but not a criminal violation.
Bennington Police Chief Paul Doucette promised that his officers would talk to potential offenders and guide them to available resources before issuing violations only to assure compliance.
The vote in favor of the ordinance was 5-1. There is a 60-day period, during which the ordinance may be challenged, before the ordinance takes effect.