Panhandling Sign Controversy Engulfs Nampa
The city of Nampa is engaged in a controversy involving the freedom to panhandle in one of Idaho's largest cities. KTVB reports that the city has placed signs throughout the city telling residents and visitors not to panhandle. There are nine signs currently in Nampa and were placed in the city as a result of a vote by the city council last October. The total cost of the signs were $1,800.
Nampa Mayor Debbie Kling told KTVB that the signs are meant to encourage folks to donate to their local charities. Residents have begun to question whether or not panhandling is illegal in Nampa? Idaho code leaves it up to the individual city to create ordinances regulating panhandling. Currently there is no state law in Idaho that prohibits panhandling.
The signs have caused some residents to believe they're not necessary. They tell KTVB that they believe that Nampa doesn't have an issue with panhandling. Mayor Kling believes the discussion has benefited the city by opening up a dialogue on poverty and the working poor.
The Nampa City Council's next scheduled meeting is Monday April 6th. The city attorney will give his legal recommendation concerning the legality of the signs. If that occurs, insiders believe this issue will be a topic during the public comment portion of the meeting.
There are currently no plans to either remove or place more signs in Nampa.