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After Compliant From Charity, Woodstock Revisits Solicitation Ordinance

A question from a representative of the Knights of Columbus has led the city to consider revising an ordinance restricting charitable solicitation along public roads.

A question by a resident has led to the city of Woodstock to revisit an ordinance that regulates soliciting in the right-of-way. 

The Woodstock City Council on Monday heard from Ralph Broughton, a member of the Knights of Columbus Council 11768, based out of St. Michael The Archangel Catholic Church in Woodstock. 

Broughton informed the council that his fellow Knights were told that they could no longer collect donations in the right-of-way of city streets.

The Knights are most known for their collection of donations in the median along Highway 92 near Interstate 575. After residents donate, the Knights usually hand out Tootsie Rolls to motorists.

He added he was told to apply for a permit at city hall, but noted he wasn't able to receive a permit. 

"We don’t want to violate anything, so for the last three months, we haven’t been out there," Broughton said, adding he's witnessed other organizations that continue to collect donations along public roads. 

The city in 2011 passed an ordinance that banned solicitation in all public rights-of-way.

The ordinance was in response to traveling youth sports teams that were seen soliciting in the right-of-way on Highway 92 near its intersection with Trickum Road.

City Manager Jeff Moon said the city could look at implementing a provision to allow charitable organizations to apply for permits to solicit in the right-of-way.

He also said he'd support maintaining an age restriction on who can apply and receive permits and who can solicit in the right-of-way.

He also said he'd recommend the city not charging for the permits.

The city manager on Tuesday said he could bring back a proposal some time in February to the City Council.

Moon added Broughton's organization was not able to obtain a permit as there is not a mechanism in place to apply for a permit to solicit in the right-of-way. 

Mayor Donnie Henriques added he felt it was "time" the city address this issue.

Along with keeping an age restriction in place, the mayor noted he felt the city needs to be consistent in its enforcement of the ordinance and to revoke the permit of organizations 

“I think they (city staff) can come up with something that will suit all needs in this respect.”

Ward 1 Councilman Randy Brewer stressed to Broughton that the city's intent with the ordinance was to not hinder organizations that solicit for charitable reasons.

“It was us trying to protect people who weren’t protecting their own kids," he added.

Ann A. Jones January 31, 2013 at 01:19 PM
Great. More beggars in the road. I don't like public areas being used this way. The possibility of injury bothers me. I would feel awful if I hit one of these guys. And the traffic lights take long enough as is. We really don't need anything else to slow things down at intersections. Don't mean to be a Scrooge, but, guys, find something more creative to do to make money. My church's benevolent fund doesn't beg from outsiders.
Kieran Pavlick January 31, 2013 at 03:35 PM
I found when I lived in Atlanta,that fake collectors,would solicit. There wasn't time to read the message on their containers and so you throw money in and scoot. I don't give to road solicitors for that reason. If counterfeiters can print Money, they can counterfeit donation paraphernalia. I agree with Ms. Jones. Dangerous out there. I recommend,the K of C hold some event in the Church Parking Lot.
harold January 31, 2013 at 05:10 PM
Ms. Pavilick, and Jones, I suppose that you don't support Fireman who "Use their Boot's for funds to help fire victims". Well, I'm not a member of the KoC, but do support their organization by giving whatever change I have available, and if I don't have change and time permits, I will pull out my wallet for some cash. I also buy donuts from High School kids to support their various sport activities. All of their soliciting does not take long, nor does it hurt for you to open your purse. The "City of Woodstock" should have Grandfather'd the KoC because they already had an agreement. The only reason that the police should be involved is when there is a "safety" issue. I have yet to see any location that the KoC has selected for donations to be a safety concern, especially if You are aware that there are people in the road.
Pat February 01, 2013 at 04:42 PM
I do know that the money the Knights collect go 100% to Cherokee Charities to help people with disabilities. I checked it out, they are not fake. Why would Cherokee Co residents be in such a hurry that they would not be willing to slow down and help out? These men are not beggars just men wanting to help out the less fortunate in their community. I support their efforts and will contribute each time I see them on the road. I agree with Harold as well.
Eric Huminski February 01, 2013 at 06:42 PM
As a member of the Knights of Columbus, St Michael the Archangel Council, I can say with all certainty that the Knights not only solicit at the intersections to raise money for the various charities IN CHEROKEE COUNTY, but they also donate hundreds of manhours holding other types of fund raisers, although not in the parking lot as was suggested. If you come to any events in Woodstock City Park, such as the July 4th Celebration or the Summer Concert series, you can stop by the food booth and support those charities by buying some great brats or hot dogs or hamburgers. 100% of the profits go to Cherokee County charities. The guys you see at the intersections wear protective gear to make them visible and are instructued on how to collect without holding up any traffic. So the next time you are sitting at one of those extra long traffic lights, that a minute to see how long it takes to pull a buck out of your pocket or purse. And look for us once the new ordinance is approved! Thank you.

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