Colorado Springs City Councilman Merv Bennett on Thursday didn’t dismiss the possibility of rewriting the city’s new “no-solicitation zone” that would ban panhandling.
The new ordinance was brought to a halt on Tuesday when a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction against the ban, which prohibits the city from enforcing the measure. The judge agreed with the Colorado American Civil Liberties Union, which sued the city and argued that the ban violates the First Amendment.
The no-solicitation zone technically went into effect Dec. 19, but because of the injunction, the city won’t be able to write any tickets for violations unless the city prevails at a future trial.
When asked whether he was interested in taking the ordinance to trial, Bennett wouldn’t say yes or no. He was equally ambivalent when asked whether he would be open to re-writing the ordinance.
“I’m not ready to drop it, but I also don’t want us to waste money on something we can’t win,” Bennett said. “I want us to consider all options, but I don’t know what the best option is. But I’m not going to dismiss any option.”
Bennett said he and the rest of the council, along with Mayor Steve Bach, will confer with City Attorney Chris Melcher on their next course of action. That meeting probably won’t take place until January, Bennett said.