PORTERDALE -- The City Council continued to tweak a public indecency ordinance that was first aimed at regulating the wearing of baggy pants.
At the council's regular meeting Monday night, the council heard the first and second readings of an ordinance that would make it unlawful to wear pants or skirts more than 3 inches below the hips, exposing the skin or undergarments.
City Attorney Tim Chambers also read a letter from Porterdale Solicitor Robert Piccaretto in which he wrote that wearing saggy pants has been deemed to be a form of expression. "A pure saggy pants ordinance" could result in costly litigation for the city, Piccaretto advised, and he suggested letting other jurisdictions "test the waters" until there is a definitive judicial ruling on the matter.
The council approved the first and second readings of the ordinance, with Post 1 Coucilwoman Anita Rainey opposed. The council then went on to vote to strike the subsection of the ordinance that specifically addressed wearing baggy pants or skirts more than 3 inches below the top of the hips. With that section removed, the ordinance essentially mirrors the state's public indecency ordinance.
Councilman Mike Harper, the primary proponent of the ordinance, said he wasn't happy with the revised ordinance, but he was reconciled to the need for the change.
The council agreed to discuss the ordinance again at the March 3 work session. The ordinance could come up for a final vote at the April 2 meeting.
The council also approved the first and second readings of an ordinance that would allow bow hunting within the city limits on private property with the permission of the owner. Bow hunting would not be allowed within 100 yards of a residence, street, alley or building, and only licensed hunters would be permitted to bow hunt.
The council took up a discussion of bow hunting last month due to the high number of nuisance deer in the city.
In other action, Mayor Arline Chapman reported that three pocket parks under development on city property should be ready for play in a few weeks. Chapman said the city is working to purchase playground equipment for each of the parks -- to be located on Elm, Pine and Hemlock streets -- and to determine the best type of mulch to purchase.
"The playgrounds should be in place by mid-April, so I'm excited about that," Chapman said.
Police Chief Geoff Jacobs reported to the council that Sgt. Jason Cripps had been promoted to lieutenant Monday afternoon.
"It's not often that you find an employee as dedicated as he is, and he certainly deserves it," Jacobs said.