AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – It’s something Augusta city leaders don’t like seeing: people on the right of way asking for money, but how do you stop it?
“Very, very, difficult, because everybody has a passion; everybody has an idea,” said Commissioner Francine Scott.
For some, the answer is easy: adopt and a panhandling ordinance making it illegal.
“We need to put a stop to it. We need to put controls in place. We need to give the Sheriff the necessary tools he needs to hold people accountable,” commissioner Wayne Guilfoyle.
Commissioners are voting to look at drafting new panhandling regulations, but only after holding a work session within the next 60 says to first hear from experts.
“So, we can put something on the books to help serve Augusta because there is an issue in our main corridors and our main intersections. There’s nothing to shy away from there, but we have to make sound decisions, and those sound decisions have to be based on what experts are telling us,” said Commissioner Jordan Johnson.
But others say there is already a blueprint. They want to vote to follow what Columbia County already has in place.
“‘I’m ready. We already have something to follow in line with Columbia County. I don’t know why we can’t just duplicate It,” said commissioner Guilfoyle.
“I think we need to make sure we’re doing what we in Richmond County can do; not what Columbia County are doing. We need to look at best practices from all over Georgia. I think so,” said Commissioner Scott.
A work session has been approved, but it’s not yet an ordinance. So, expect to see signs asking for money to continue.