Panhandling, taxi rules on Wasilla City Council agenda next week

Zaz Hollander

Wasilla's city council will hold public hearings Monday evening on ordinances that would regulate panhandling, taxi cabs and people who call police too many times a year.

The panhandling ordinance covers anyone soliciting money or rides or actively seeking money for music other street performance. It doesn't, however, include "passively standing or sitting" or music performers who simply put out a sign. Locations specifically off-limits: bus stops; public transportation; vehicles; in a sidewalk cafe; or within 20 feet of an ATM or bank entrance. A first offense would net a warning, the second a $100 fine or eight hours of community service and the third a $200 fine or 16 hours of community service.

The "excessive police responses" ordinance targets people who call police more than eight times a year to a residence or more than 50 times to a commercial unit. Calls about serious medical emergencies, potential child neglect or domestic violence, sexual assault or commercial theft would not count toward the total. Neither would a report about someone wanted on a warrant or a call from a property licensed by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board for help with minors, drunk people or people wanted by law enforcement or someone who's drunk and getting ready to drive off. The proposed ordinance would levy a $500 fine for violations.

The one regulating taxis would require each business to get a $75 vehicle permit, file a certificate of liability insurance, and undergo annual inspections with spot checks from the Wasilla police chief. The ordinance also specifies how cabs have to look, the kind of qualifications operators must have and the kind of records taxi businesses need to keep about business transactions and operator names. Violations could draw a $100 fine.

The city council meeting starts at 6 p.m. Monday at City Hall on Herning Avenue

Reach Zaz Hollander at or 257-4317.