- Associated Press - Monday, November 10, 2014

HERMISTON, Ore. (AP) - The Hermiston City Council will discuss what -if anything - can be done to limit panhandling in the Eastern Oregon city.

The East Oregonian newspaper reports (https://is.gd/Iq4UHO ) that a resident asked the council last month to consider crafting an ordinance to ban begging on street corners. Don Walls said when people come from out-of-town, the first thing they notice is panhandlers, and he worries about its effect on Hermiston’s image.

In a memo to the city council, City Manager Byron Smith said state law does not allow cities to ban panhandling because it’s considered a form of free speech.

Police Chief Jason Edmiston has suggested working with businesses to remove panhandlers from private property, while also enforcing an ordinance that prohibits people from blocking public sidewalks.

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Information from: East Oregonian, https://www.eastoregonian.info

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