That's how long panhandlers have to register with the city of Fairlawn, and until new regulation legislation goes into effect. It was passed by City Council at Monday's meeting.
Mayor William Roth said copies of the legislation will be posted in four locations throughout the city, as well as the Internet. Police officers will also pass out copies to any panhandlers they find on the streets.
: one piece requires panhandlers to register with the city and the other regulates where they can panhandle.
"We considered this legislation very carefully," Roth said. "We took the time to do this right. It's for the safety of our residents, the people who come to the city and the panhandlers themselves."
Roth added that having panhandlers in the street accepting donations is dangerous to everyone on the the road.
"We're regulating them, not eliminating them," Roth said. "The whole purpose of this legislation is to get compliance and for safety."
Council President Russ Sharnsky agreed.
"We needed to enact something," Sharnsky said. "I've always been of the belief that if you want to give, give to a charity, not the people on the streets. You don't know who you're giving your money to."
Council member Kathleen Baum believes requiring panhandlers to register will deter them from coming to the city at all.
"I told my ward members that I'm sure they'll feel more comfortable sitting at lights now that (panhandlers) will be back from the street," Baum said. "I think this is good for the city and will deter people from panhandling. It gives the city a better appearance."
Now panhandlers must head to the police department before hitting the streets. They will be required to fill out an application where they will provide name, address, date of birth, whether they have a car, social security number, an emergency contact and state whether they've been convicted of any crimes.
The police department will then perform a background check, and if they find the applicant is a convicted felon, that person will not be allowed to panhandle in the city.
If the application is approved, the panhandler will be issued a license which must be worn on their outermost piece of clothing. If the panhandler is caught without the license, they will first be warned, then cited. If they are caught again, their license will be revoked.
If a panhandler's application is rejected, they have the option of appealing the rejection in Mayor's Court. The decision of the mayor will be final.
Ten days from now (April 16), panhandlers will not be allowed to beg within 25 feet of:
- any intersecting streets or crosswalks
- any driveway entrance or exit from shopping plazas, shopping districts, an commercial or business establishments, churches, schools or libraries
- any bus stop
- any ATM or bank
- any sidewalk cafe or outdoor restaurant
- any entry or exit to an car service station
Aggressive panhandling is also prohibited. The city's legislation defines that as:
- touching the person being panhandled without their consent
- blocking the path of a person being panhandled, or blocking the continuous flow of traffic on the public right-of-way
- following behind, ahead or alongside a person who walks away from being panhandled
- making a statement or gesture which would cause a person to believe that the panhandler will cause physical harm to the person or the property of the person being panhandled
- panhandling in a group of two or more people
Anyone who violates these terms will be found guilty of a minor misdemeanor and will be subject to a penalty.