City council member Bill Jonson and homeless advocate Sarah Snyder weigh in on Clearwater's new laws targeting the homeless

07/20/12 Lisa Marzilli
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Good afternoon and welcome to Last Call, I'm Lisa Marzilli, joined by engineer Alvaro Montealegre. Today we’re going to talk about a set of laws unanimously approved by Clearwater city officials this week that specifically target the homeless. They range from tightening the city’s current ban on panhandling (adding more banned areas and replacing the current punishment of a fine with arrest), to prohibiting sitting and lying down on any public right of way - including sidewalks, piers and docks. (Animal lovers beware - feeding a duck or squirrel in a public park could cost you up to $500.)

Joining us on the phone to talk about this is Sarah Snyder, President and CEO of the Pinellas County Homeless Leadership Board. She has been involved in homeless issues for close to 30 years. In the studio we’re joined by Clearwater City Councilman Bill Jonson, currently serving his third term in office. Welcome to you both.

To view video of Thursday's city council meeting click here (public comment on the ordinances starts at about 3:00:00)

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