Dec 25, 2015 11:09 AM

Nashua continues to debate anti-panhandling ordinance

NASHUA — City alderman approved a revamped anti-panhandling ordinance earlier this week, but Mayor Donnalee Lozeau may still veto the measure.

According to the Union Leader, Lozeau vetoed a similar ordinance about two months ago. The latest version, adopted by the alderman in an 8-7 vote, would prohibit anyone from exchanging or receiving any object from the driver of a motor vehicle while the vehicle is on a public roadway.

It's similar to anti-panhandling ordinances adopted in several other communities around the state.

Offenders could be fined up to $500 or be required to do community service. Lozeau has seven days to veto the ordinance.

While Lozeau says panhandling can be dangerous when it occurs on the median strips of city roads and highways, she says there are other ways to deal with the problem.

Fred Teeboom, a former alderman, also has concerns about the ordinance, calling it “highly bigoted.”

“It is targeting panhandlers, not public safety,” said Teeboom, arguing the city could potentially face a lawsuit for First Amendment violations if city officials adopt the ordinance.

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