MOSES LAKE - Moses Lake can fine people $100 for asking for money from people in vehicles.
The city council recently passed an ordinance aimed at stopping aggressive begging and soliciting money from people in vehicles. The city defines aggressive begging as begging "with the intent to intimidate another person into giving money or goods."
The council talked about creating an ordinance a couple times during the past couple years, and a citizen spoke to the council about the issue as well, City Manager Joe Gavinski said in a previous meeting.
The ordinance doesn't prohibit all panhandling because of potential Constitutional issues, Gavinski said.
The council initially proposed a $50 fine for violating the ordinance, but Councilmember Dick Deane proposed raising it to $100.
"The purpose of that is it falls closer in line to a parking violation or a school zone violation," he said. "It doesn't quite meet that record, but it does give more credence to the fact we're not just saying something."
Councilmember Dave Curnel said the person who brought the issue to the council works in his office, and was excited about the ordinance.
"When I had told her we had passed the first reading of it, she was very excited and I told her, 'This is an example of what happens when citizens get involved in city government,'" he said.
Mayor Jon Lane said several people approached him and supported the ordinance because they were annoyed about some of the panhandling taking place.
The ordinance passed unanimously. Councilmember Brent Reese was not present at the meeting.