Fitchburg mayor-elect wants city to consider panhandling ordinance

Madison median safety ordinance could be model

When Madison put a median safety ordinance in place, it moved panhandlers down the road to neighboring cities.

The mayor-elect of Fitchburg, Jason Gonzalez, hopes his city will adopt a similar ordinance to the one Madison put in place.

“I hope that we look at Madison’s ordinance, that we adopt something that is going to protect people’s constitutional rights, but at the same time gives our police officers the tools in their took kit to address any citizen’s concerns, or the safety concerns of the person that is actually engaging in this behavior,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez, who will be sworn in as mayor on Tuesday, said the panhandling on medians carries with it several concerns.

“My main concern is safety. My other concern is it is just an unsightly occurrence. Fish Hatchery road is our major corridor into our city and that road is getting remade in 2018. One of the key things in my administration I’d like to do is reinvest in north Fish Hatchery road corridor and make it an area where people want to stop,” Gonzalez said.