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Posted 05 Aug 2001   For week ended July 27, 2001
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Sent on Mormon-News: 28Jul01

By Kent Larsen

Pageant Vendors Cry Fowl at Quickly-Passed Nauvoo Regulations

NAUVOO, ILLINOIS -- The Nauvoo City Council rushed a new ordinance into law July 10th, requiring street vendors to have a city license and $300,000 in insurance. But at least one local businessman is crying fowl, saying that the regulation, whose requirements are still not clear, was passed before objections could be considered and without enough lead time for the vendors to make arrangements to comply.

The council acted because of problems with vendors at last year's LDS Church-run "City of Joseph" pageant. "We had problems after last year," says City Clerk Carol McGhghy. Some temporary vendors had set up their stalls in front of stores without permission. Local lawyer Nicholas Literski says that these vendors behaved in "an unsafe and irresponsible manner" and says that behavior offended Nauvoo residents and created "a very un-spiritual 'circus atmosphere.'"

In response, the City had planned to pass new regulations. But Literski says that the the Council tabled the issue for several months, and then suddenly decided that the ordinance was needed just two weeks before the pageant. To make it on time, the Council skipped the customary three readings over three successive months, that is set up to allow interested parties to be heard on the issue.

The new ordinance now requires that vendors setting up on private land have a license, while in the past those on private land were exempt from getting a license. The ordinance also no longer allows those who rent office space or warehouse space to get out of the license requirement, frustrating those vendors who had rented space specifically to get out of the license requirement. Literski represents store owner Robert Cook, who had rented space to some would-be vendors.

Mayor Tom Wilson insists that something had to be done to avoid the problems that occurred last year. While not perfect, the new ordinance is better than nothing, "I think we can all live with it -- for this year," Wilson said.

But Literski says that the sudden change isn't fair to the small merchants, who until two weeks ago were not planing on paying $200 for a license and get $300,000 of liability insurance. Many of them will not be able to do business at all as a result. "That's what happens when you postpone dealing with an issue," says Literski. "That's why we have three readings of an ordinance."


Vending ordinance squeezes some merchants
Burlington IA The Hawk Eye 23Jul01 B4
By Stephen A. Martin: The Hawk Eye


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