An Atlanta street vendor (File photo courtesy CBS Atlanta)
An Atlanta street vendor (File photo courtesy CBS Atlanta)

The Atlanta City Council passed a new vending law on Monday, just moments before a hearing related to the vending controversy took place.

According to a report from our affiliate CBS Atlanta, vendors’ attorneys argued that the Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Police Chief George Turner should be charged with contempt of court. Last month, a judge ordered the city to begin re-issuing permits for vendors but the city refused.

“Contempt would mean for Mayor Reed and Police Chief Turner a judicial declaration that they broke the law, fines and even possible jail time,” said vendors’ attorney Robert Frommer.

City Attorney Amber Robinson told the judge that the city council passed a new law just before the hearing Monday, so the city is not in contempt of court.

Vendors said they are not happy with the new ordinance for several reasons. Among their complaints: certain vendors may not get permits, some will have to spend thousands of dollars to buy carts and kiosks, and none can operate on public property near Turner Field.

“It seems like this whole regime of Kasim Reed is really just heartless,” said Larry Miller, president of the Atlanta Vendors Association. “There’s no compassion here. We’re just hard working people who want to make an honest living.”

Vendors said they will consider their next move but will likely challenge the new vending ordinance.

Read more about this story and watch video at CBS Atlanta.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.