Neighbor Wants Board to Make Panhandling Illegal

By: Estephany Escobar Email
By: Estephany Escobar Email

A neighbor in Augusta County said he is tired about panhandling in the area.

He said he has seen them on Route 250 near Fishersville when cars are at the stop light.

"Every time I come down here is always money, money, money," Johnson said.

That's when Roger Johnson said most panhandlers sweep in.

"To me this panhandling thing has gone too far," Johnson said.

Johnson has been making calls to the Sheriff's Office and Virginia State Police to make it stop.

"They say their hands are tied," Johnson said.

The Augusta County Board of Supervisors is considering an ordinance to make it illegal to ask for money in a public area that includes banks and ATMs.

Panhandlers will have to ask for permission to solicit on private property or near a street or a highway.

"Now it's time to show them that the county is tired of it," Johnson said.

The board is holding a public hearing on Wednesday Nov. 14.

But if this ordinance passes, panhandlers could pay more than $500, if they break the rules.
Johnson said this is close to how much they make when they stand on the street.

"On some good days he can make $500 and on some bad days he can make $100 to $200 a day," Johnson said.

But he would like to see a day with no panhandlers around.

"I would like to see this stop and quit pestering people about money," Johnson said. " To me it's against the law."

The panhandlers were not there when News 3 talked to Johnson.

If you would like to participate in the public hearing, go to the Augusta County Board of Supervisors at 7 p.m. on Wednesday Nov. 14.

The location of the meeting is at the Government Center in Verona.

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