Council passes law requiring 2nd line vendor permits
Dave Cohen Reporting
Should people selling water, food, handbags and other goods have to have a permit at neighborhood second lines? The New Orleans City Council says yes.
Council members say historically the NOPD has looked the other way at neighborhood second line parades and not required that people selling goods have permits. Today the council voted to mandate vendors purchase a $25 permit or be shut down.
"There are some things that are just sacred," Councilwoman Cynthia Hedge-Morrell insisted. "We ought not be fooling with it."
She was in the minority.
Councilwoman Diana Bajoie led the effort to pass the new law "at a request from many of the people who sell the goods."
She says, "It gives them an opportunity to have a permit to do that."
Councilman Ernest Charbonnet added, "For the life of me I can't figure out why a vendor would want to be at the mercy of whether or not a police officer wants to turn and look the other way."
Some vendors attending the meeting agreed and applauded the new law to require permits, others complained it was government interfering with neighborhood traditions at the dozens of second lines each year across the city.