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Editorial: Solicitation policy

Thursday, May 5, 2005

Many worthwhile projects and organizations have benefited from soliciting donations at the uptown corner of Main and Hope streets in Jackson. But Jackson city manager Jim Roach has concerns and recommends an eventual ban on solicitations.

One concern is the safety of the persons doing the soliciting at the busy intersection. Another question is where the city draws the line on how many organization can solicit donations. There has been talk about allowing one solicitation per quarter, but how does the city decide which organization gets the nod if more than one wants to solicit on the corners?

Over the past year, the board of aldermen formally voted to allow only four solicitations, but other organizations also were given permission for more. The board doesn't want motorists in Jackson upset by continuous solicitations for money.

There is another concern the city hasn't discussed: Are there some organizations the city wouldn't want to see standing on its streets collecting money?

Perhaps the safety concern could be addressed by requiring the solicitors to wear reflective clothing and by placing an age limit on those who can participate.

But too many vagaries remain. The city needs a policy.


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