MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) –UPDATE: Monday night the Madison City Council rejected a request by some booster parents for more leeway for kids working to collect money for school programs.
As promised the Madison City Council made the decision after hearing from dozens of parents who were upset over the “no solicitation” ordinance.
Madison Mayor Troy Trulock says the decision came after lots of input from the city’s legal council and community comments.
“We cleared up what our ordinance says, there is a community outreach category meaning 100 percent of the homes in Madison are available for students to do outreach, but if there are signs posted in neighborhoods then you can’t ask for funds,” Trulock says.
Some booster parents in the Madison City School District are upset over the “no solicitation” ordinance within city limits they say it limits their students from school fundraising projects.
Monday night during the Madison city council meeting Staci Krupp asked council if they could make an exception under the no solicitation rules for students.
Booster parents say there are between 12 and 20 neighborhoods inside district limits that have no solicitation signs posted which means students can’t go to any of those homes to sell.
Madison Police Chief Larry Muncie says his department cannot pick and choose who it will enforce the no solicitation rule upon.
Board members say they will take all the comments and documents and review the information with an answer next council meeting.
Here is the letter from the James Clemens Band Booster President:
Recently, the James Clemens Band held a Tag Day fundraiser in our community. This fundraiser was severely limited by the interpretation of the Madison City “No Solicitation” ordinance. Police Chief Muncie stated that we were not allowed to solicit in any neighborhood that has a posted “No Solicitation” sign, even if we had permission from that neighborhood’s Homeowners Association (and we did have permission from 15 neighborhoods). If we entered one of those neighborhoods and a complaint was made to the police, they would be required to send a squad car and possibly “issue a bench warrant.”
Once Police Chief Muncie had made his position known, Dennis James, of MCS Central Office, stated through an email (see below) that ALL student groups in MCS will now have to refrain from doing any door to door fundraising in any Madison neighborhood with a “No Solicitation” sign. According to the count that we were able to put together (and it is possible that it is not complete), there are 18 neighborhoods (in the JCHS school zone alone) that are now off-limits to student groups for fundraising because they have “no solicitation” signs posted.
The band, of course, complied with the wishes of the Police Chief and Central Office and we did NOT solicit in any neighborhood with a posted “no solicitation” sign. But I can tell you that this limitation severely cut into our potential profits for the day. Not to mention that those neighborhoods were disappointed because they were excluded from the day’s event.
Ultimately, the interpretation of the “No Solicitation” ordinance will negatively affect all of our student groups in their efforts to raise funds. Therefore, I strongly encourage you to bring as many members of your organization as possible to the city council meeting next Monday, September 23, at 6:00 pm at Madison City Hall.
We want our elected officials to see how many groups are going to be impacted by the interpretation of this ordinance. Our goal is to have the ordinance rewritten so that student groups are exempt from it.
Amy R. West
President, JCHS Band Booster