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Grass Valley City Council to talk stricter enforcement for solicitation, salary raise for career firefighters

Teresa Yinmeng Liu
Staff Writer

The Grass Valley City Council will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday to vote on an ordinance to enact a stricter regulation for solicitation and panhandling activities.

According to city documents, the updated legislation complied with state and federal laws, which ensure the safety of residents, allow the free flow of traffic, and also protect free expression and expressive activities.

The proposed legislation would require an individual or organization to procure a permit from the city manager before soliciting financial assistance, whether the solicitation is of a commercial or charitable nature.

The granted permit would be valid for 30 days.

A solicitor who persistently “hawks” a person without approval from that individual would be cited a misdemeanor offense. A solicitor who intentionally prevents people from moving in order to request money or to perform services for payment, would also be punished by law.

Also on Tuesday, the city council will vote on a Labor Memorandum of Understanding that would increase the salary of Grass Valley Career Firefighters, IAFF Local 3800, Unit 8, by 7.12 percent, from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2017. Wages for firefighters would increase 3.5 percent after July 1, 2015. Then after July 1, 2016, employees would be eligible to receive another 3.5 percent salary hike.

The new labor negotiations would repeal the retiree health insurance benefit for newly recruited firefighters. This change would take effect on Jan. 1, 2016.

City officials estimated the payment adjustment would cost the city $92,000 per year. Employee compensation made up 64 percent of the city’s General Fund for the current fiscal year.

Also, city officials will make a final motion to adopt the second reading of an ordinance banning dogs and “other animals” from special events during Tuesday’s meeting.

On Sept. 22, council members unanimously approved an amendment which made it unlawful for an owner of dogs or other animals to bring their pets to public events without first obtaining approval from the city or its police department. The ordinance would not pertain to guide dogs, signal dogs or service dogs.

If passed on Tuesday, the ordinance would go into effect after 30 days.

For more information, go to http://www.cityofgrassvalley.com.

To contact Staff Writer Teresa Yinmeng Liu, please call 530-477-4236, or email tliu@theunion.com

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