SEBASTIAN – The Sebastian City Council has decided to no longer allow on-street solicitation, citing concerns for safety and of fraud.
City Councilwoman Andrea Coy brought the issue up at a recent council meeting and was able to get unanimous support from her fellow council members to direct staff to no longer issue permits for on-street solicitation.
“I see no reason for people standing on” street corners collecting money, Coy said. It’s “very dangerous.”
Coy had also raised the concern that people were donating to these solicitors without even knowing where their money is going or who they are giving it to.
Councilman Richard Gillmor agreed, noting that many times the solicitors pass themselves off as military veterans but really are just men dressed in costume.
“What are you going to regulate next?” asked Sebastian resident and businessman Damien Gilliams. “This is America.”
Gillmor told his fellow council that he has seen numerous times the possibility for traffic accidents due to the solicitors being in the road.
Councilman Don Wright cautioned the council not to impact children who are holding car washes as fundraisers.
City Manager Al Minner told Wright that the car washes are typically held on private property by the permission of the property owner. The children, he added, tend to stay on the sidewalk with their signs and don’t walk out into traffic.
Mayor Jim Hill said that anyone who seeks a permit and is turned down can come before the Sebastian City Council.