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Panhandler ordinance begs questions

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Auburn does not need an ordinance against panhandlers. It is very difficult to craft one that does not violate the First Amendment. If one does pass it will probably be useless. The panhandler will probably have no ID so the cop will have to take him to jail. There is a population cap on the jail by order of the federal court. Does the jail really want him? If he does have an ID he will never be able to get to court out there in Roseville. A warrant will be issued for his arrest. If he is arrested he will be released by the jail before court or be given credit for time served when he does go to court. The jail and courts are severely understaffed. Do they need this extra work? We are talking about using lawyer time to craft the ordinance and then making big problems for the jail and court. The ACLU will probably be in town to sue the city just as the ink dries on the ordinance. All this apparently over two panhandlers. This is a mean-spirited law in very hard times. I have shopped in Auburn for years and encountered dozens of panhandlers. I have always treated them with dignity and respect and they have always treated me the same way. I rarely give them money. We have a Christian church on just about every corner in Auburn. Perhaps we can ask what Jesus would do in this situation. PAUL W. COMISKEY, Newcastle