PROPOSAL TO BAN NUDITY GOES TO COUNTY COMMISSION - Mitch Perry

05/19/04

Last night WMNF reported on a news conference held by some Hillsborough County citizens who say they believe public nudity is a problem in the County, and they want local government to do something about it.

Today, members of that ad hoc group, Citizens for Decency, urged the County Commission to support putting an Ordinance on this November’s Ballot asking that the citizens vote on whether or not they would like to ban.

This issue came up about a year ago, but never came to fruition….But organizers say they have over 10,000 people who have signed petitions requesting that the County put the issue up for a vote.

Krissy Carpenter - who said she lives in Clearwater (roll tape#1 o.q.�around such establishments�)

Tampa resident Tom Bows is the Executive Director of the Tampa Bay Baptist Association, which he says represents thousands of people in Hillsborough County, AND is a member of the group Citizens for Decency.(roll tape#2 o.q.�

And Bows said that Tampa has double the amount of strip clubs as Miami, which therefore explained why in 2001, there were ___more rapes committed in Tampa than Miami.

The Reverend Abraham Brown is the pastor of the First Baptist Church at College Hill…

Initially Commissioner Jan Platt, and later Pat Frank, both critics of such a proposal, asked why Citizens for Decency were campaigning for the issue in the County, when the majority, if not all of the clubs in question are inside Tampa City Limits (roll tape#4 o.q. “not going to the city?�)

The Attorney for the Group, David Gibbs, said he thought it WAS appropriate for the group to lobby the County…(roll tape#5 o.q.�a standard in the law�)

During the debate on this issue a year ago, Commissioner Frank said the whole discussion was created to put an item on the ballot that will aid the campaign of Commissioner Ronda Storms, who is running for re-election this November….

Citizens for Decency did get the first thing they were asking for - That the County will discuss the issue at its next meeting, June 2nd……At that point all eyes will be on the Commission to see if they will vote to put such an ordinance- which may NOT have much impact ultimately at all, on the November ballot.

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