Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Gulfport set to raise fine for littering

GULFPORT — The volunteers who routinely swoop down, garbage bags in hand, into targeted areas of town to pick up litter may find fewer discarded objects to fill their packs in the future.

At least that's the hope of City Council, which on Tuesday voted 4-1 to change its litter ordinance to increase fines for littering by $50.

An uncontested fine will now be $143 (up from $93) and a contested fine, which includes court costs, will be $188 (up from $138).

Council member Jennifer Salmon, who cast the dissenting vote, said the city should get serious about signs and enforcing the ordinance before increasing fines.

She said she's afraid if the fines are too high, the police would think twice about levying them.

But council member Sam Henderson, who initially requested increasing fines for littering, said he wants the tickets written for the maximum amount so everyone gets the message that litter is not acceptable in Gulfport.

"We grew up with the generation of Woodsy the Owl and all the litter campaigns they did on Saturday morning cartoons.

"Media's so expanded now; it's hard to reach people. That lesson is clearly not continuing," Henderson said.

Vice Mayor David Hastings successfully lobbied to have the words "cigarette butts" included in the ordinance, which now defines litter as "garbage, trash, waste or other refuse."

"Ninety to 95 percent of the litter picked up is cigarette butts," he said.

In related business, the council unanimously amended another ordinance that deals with litter — in the form of unsolicited fliers, pamphlets and similar items — deposited on private property.

Solicitors now have to register with the Police Department and must leave materials only between 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. The expanded ordinance bans fliers and other objects from being left at an unoccupied home unless the owner or occupant has granted permission.

The ordinances will have second and final readings in January.

Gulfport set to raise fine for littering 12/10/11 [Last modified: Saturday, December 10, 2011 3:31am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Jones: Bucs need success to get national respect


    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones offers up his Two Cents on the world of sports.

    No respect

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  2. Hopes fade after landslide destroys Chinese village (w/video)


    Crews searching through the night in the rubble left by a landslide that buried a mountain village under tons of soil and rocks in southwestern China found 15 bodies, but more than 110 more people remained missing.

    Vehicles and people line a road leading to the site of a landslide in Xinmo village in Mao County on Saturday in southwestern China’s Sichuan Province. More than 100 people remained missing after the village was buried under tons of rocks and soil.
  3. Rookie Jake Faria dissatisfied with performance in Rays' loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The rookie pitcher walked to his locker Saturday after tossing the fourth quality start in as many tries to begin his career. He held the potent Orioles bats to three runs and for six innings gave his team a chance to win.

    Orioles third baseman Manny Machado tags out the Rays’ Mallex Smith at third after a rundown in the first inning.
  4. Thousands converge in two St. Pete locations celebrating LGBT rights

    Human Interest

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tom Rockhill didn't know what to expect Saturday, but by noon people were knocking on the door of his bar Right Around the Corner in Grand Central.

    (From left to right) Emma Chalut 18, gets a rainbow sticker on her cheek from her sister Ellie, 15 both of Jacksonville before the annual St. Pete Pride parade in downtown St. Petersburg on Saturday. This year the route was changed from the Grand Central and Kenwood area to Bayshore Drive.
[EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times]
  5. Retired Florida Supreme Court Justice Parker Lee McDonald dies

    TALLAHASSEE — A former Florida Supreme Court justice, who wrote a decision that prevented lawyers from excluding jurors because of their race, has died.

    Former Florida Supreme Court Justice Parker Lee McDonald died Saturday, the court said in a statement. He was 93.