Shopping cart ordinance passed

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes A more business-friendly shopping cart ordinance has been approved by the Keizer City Council. The issue of complaints related to shopping carts being left in neighborhoods was brought up in September, but councilor Brandon Smith objected to some of the requirements as proposed. Based on the feedback, councilor Marlene Parsons withdrew the ordinance and worked on it some more with city attorney Shannon Johnson as well as Nate Brown, director of Community Development for the city. The revised ordinance didn’t have many differences, but they were noticeable. For example, the revised ordinance no longer requires stores to set up a toll-free phone line for people to call if they find an abandoned shopping cart from that store. In addition, the maximum fine was dropped from $500 to $100, the minimum fine was dropped from $100 to $50 and a presumptive fine was dropped from $250 to $50. Smith voted in favor of the revised ordinance, while councilor Amy Ryan was the lone no vote. Shortly before the meeting, former councilor Joe Egli e-mailed thoughts on the ordinance, emphasizing that removing a shopping cart from a store’s premises is theft. “By fining the business we are simply addressing the symptom, not finding a cure for the problem,” Egli wrote in part. “We are letting our citizens know that it is okay to steal a...

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