City Hall takes up ordinance to banish prostitutes

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Downtown businessman Richard Miller was not able to attend the workshop, but feels strongly for banishing repeat offenders as the ordinance proposes. His pharmacy has been on Broad Street for 48 years and he says the past 10 years have seen a marked decline.

ATLANTA - Banishing prostitutes from the city of Atlanta is a topic most seem to have an opinion on and City Hall heard them on Monday.

After three and a half hours of discussing, it was determined that another public work session will be planned. The date for that hearing has yet to be determined.

Downtown businessman Richard Miller was not able to attend the workshop, but feels strongly for banishing repeat offenders as the ordinance proposes.

His pharmacy has been on Broad Street for 48 years and he says the past 10 years have seen a marked decline.

"Prostitutes and their johns and others leave condoms and paper towels, insulin type needles in the doorways," Miller told Channel 2's Wendy Corona.

Items he said he clears every morning for the sake of his customers and the neighborhood. They're a daily reminder of what happened there the night before.

Miller and the neighboring businesses want the streets cleaned up now.

At City Hall, city leaders and citizens discussed ways to tighten up the wording on the ordinance and clarified the ways in which it will get enforced Monday.

Regarding the fines that go along with the convictions, one citizen asked what the next step would be if a person couldn't pay the fine.

Law enforcement noted that 300 johns were arrested in the last year and more than 1,400 arrests were made that could fall under the ordinance and prostitution.

The question remained on the best ways to banish johns, pimps and prostitutes from an area, and ultimately the city in a humane way.

"We are going to talk about some real things. So we're talking also about getting the john out of the way. We're also going to talk about getting the pimp outta the way," said Cleta Winslow, city councilwoman.

"This is about economics," said former state Rep. Douglas Dean. "It's about somebody buying something."

Informative and lively at times, the session has spawned plans for another one.

Meanwhile back at Miller's Pharmacy, there's only one truth that matters to Richard Miller.

"Barring people from coming back to the same area sounds like a good idea to me," Miller said.



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