Chattanooga Officials Address Panhandling and Litter
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF)- Some Chattanoogans’ believe panhandling and littering have become real problems in their city.
The City Council insists it is listening.
“What we did is went to council and asked council to please review our panhandling ordinance that we already have in place and also let’s take a look at the trash. The litter” says Councilwoman Carol Berz.
Councilwoman Berz wants to make it clear that aggressive panhandling and homelessness are two separate issues, “We’re talking about people who are not homeless, who do have food, who are being handled by other people and almost like trafficking is to collect money.”
Berz considers littering a major issue, but she believes keeping Chattanooga clean is the responsibility of the City and the people who live here.
“Wouldn’t it be great if people were good citizens and didn’t throw trash? Unfortunately that’s not reality” says Berz. “So I think we need to come up with community solutions to help make a difference.”
News 12 spoke with Brandon Lewis, a Chattanooga resident of over 20 years. Lewis and other community members fear that panhandling and littering is going to drive away businesses and slow down the city’s growth.
“I’ve watched families with kids, I’ve watched older people, I’ve watched professionals move out of the Chattanooga city limits because the quality of life is degraded” says Lewis.
A litter policy and the panhandling ordinance will be reviewed during the strategic planning meeting Tuesday.