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City approves panhandling ordinance
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City of Covington council members were split on making a decision to amend an ordinance that would make it unlawful to engage in panhandling at their council meeting Monday night.

Council voted 3 to 3 on the ordinance that would prohibit people from soliciting in public places in the city. Council members Chris Smith, Keith Dalton and Michael Whatley voted to approve the amendment but council members Janet Goodman, Hawnethia Williams and Ocie Franklin voted against the measure.

"I'm not for any of our residents being panhandled," Dalton said. "I have two daughters. I'm not concerned for my safety, but for my daughters. I have a 16-year-old and one who's in her early 20's," he said. "I don't want any of our citizens harassed."

Williams opposed saying that there were people who were legitimately in need and the ordinance would make it illegal for them to ask for money.

"I can't judge all of them based on the fact that they are doing something illegal," Williams said.

Mayor Ronnie Johnston made the final deciding vote to approve the amendment.

For more on this story and other discussions from the council meeting check back with