The Escambia County Commission is considering a new roadway safety ordinance that would prohibit all groups, including street side hawkers for the daily newspaper, from selling anything, collecting donations or passing our literature on the roadways.
If it passes, intersections would be safer and definitely be more presentable to visitors. However, the PNJ would be hit in the checkbook. The county can’t have a comprehensive panhandling law without upsetting the daily newspaper.
When you travel to other cities, you don’t see their daily newspapers hawking papers on every major intersection as you do here. You don’t see scruffy people camping on the roadside begging for money.
Will the Pensacola News Journal put their revenue ahead of the community? I think the answer is yes and we should watch to see which commissioners try to cater to the media giant and how that giant covers this issue.
The paper will try to convince that hiring the hawkers is a humanitarian effort to help the homeless…this is the company that forces its employees to take unpaid furloughs to preserve its profit margin, and talks about the need for jobs but laid off dozens when it moved its printing to Mobile.
The News Journal is very profitable for Gannett. It squeezes every possible cent of this community. The hawkers need to go.
There is a public hearing on Sept. 15.