The second and final readings of the panhandling and day laborer ordinances were approved during the Oct. 12 Haltom City council regular session.
The day laborer ordinance was approved over the objection of general manager David Quatrino and council from Pacesetter Personnel Services, who disputed the constitutionality and effectiveness of the law. They met with staff from the city in August to resolve health and noise complaints and have since employed off-duty county deputy sheriff at the hall on E. Belknap Street. Quatrino claimed during the hearing that no one from the city had contacted him about further issues or let him know about the pending ordinance, which would force a handful of general labor halls to close immediately as they are more than 1,000 feet from a public bus stop. Quatrino estimated as many as 1,000 workers, including skilled and licensed professionals, would be displaced by the ordinance. The general manager requested that the ordinance be delayed while looking for an unoccupied location that would meet the ordinance’s proximity requirement. He wasn’t able to offer detail to the council as to how much time remained on the lease at the Pacesetter’s present location.
Mayor David Averitt said he was reluctant to reverse the decision made at the prior meeting with an appeal at “the 11th hour” before final approval. After convening in executive session for about an hour, the council passed the ordinance unanimously, although councilperson Stephanie Davenport abstained from the vote and discussion for conflict-of-interest reasons.
After a presentation from Keith Lane, the chief of police, the council also approved the purchase of four Chevrolet Tahoe patrol-ready vehicles for approximately $63,000 each. They would be replacing four Ford Crown Victoria models from 2008 and 2009.
Video of the session is available here.