Denver council agrees to negotiation of handbill issues

By on November 13, 2019

The proposed handbill ordinance did not come up for a vote at Denver council’s Nov. 11 meeting. Instead, council agreed to negotiate distribution issues with The Shopping News, an unsolicited, weekly publication.

Council president Blake Daub appointed council members Todd Stewart and John Palm to work with borough manager Mike Hession in resolving the issues, some which date back to 2014, and report back to the council.

This action followed a prepared statement by Denver business owner, Michael H. Leid during the public comment period at the beginning of the meeting.

Leid said he’s read the proposed handbill ordinance and it seems to target The Shopping News, a valuable, free publication delivered for almost 55 years. In evaluating the distribution of the publication, Leid said the pros outweighed the cons.

“This publication gives great coverage to many non-profits, such as Denver Women’s Club, Denver Lions Club, Declaration House, Adamstown Area Library, and the schools. It’s an avenue for local churches to use to get their message out,” said Leid.

Local people wanting work read the “Help Wanted” ads, and shoppers purchase products advertised by local businesses.

“The handbill ordinance would negatively affect the revenue of the many businesses who advertise,” said Leid.

He looked positively on the borough’s recent measures to clean up the environment with regulations such as those not permitting indoor furniture placed on an outdoor porch. Leid asked how stickers on a window or putting up three, four, or 500 boxes to hold a publication would add beauty to the environment.

Several council members voiced frustration with being told by representatives of The Shopping News one thing yet experiencing something different in practice.

Council member Jason South said, “Until we did this — the proposed ordinance — the fixes to things weren’t happening. Their publication has clogged storm drains.”

Denver Council tabled action on the handbill ordinance pending discussion with representatives of The Shopping News. It’s anticipated the first meeting will be held within the next week.

Alice Hummer is a correspondent for The Ephrata Review.

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