GRETNA, LA -- The City Council of Gretna, LA, is considering a proposal to outlaw outdoor food and beverage vending machines within the city limits, according to Mary Lou Monaghan, senior director of government affairs for the National Automatic Merchandising Association. The council is scheduled to vote on the measure on April 13.
Monaghan reports that the proposal was drafted by a consultant, who has been working on it for months at the request of Councilwoman Raylyn Beevers. The ostensible justification is the opinion that the machines detract from the city's appearance.
"Banning food and drink vending machines could become a slippery slope," Monaghan warned. The same rationale could be used to forbid outdoor placement of automated teller machines, newspaper honor boxes, self-service ice dispensers and even air pressure pumps at gas stations, she added.
The association is urging all concerned parties to express their opposition by writing to the City Council. Points to emphasize include the likely loss of local jobs, the additional damage to businesses already suffering from the weak economy, a reduction in tax revenue to the city, and the ease with which such an ill-considered ban could be applied to a host of other outdoor self-service amenities and conveniences.
Email messages can be sent to the members of the Gretna City Council. They are:
Councilman at Large Mayor Pro-Tem
Councilman District One
Councilwoman District Two
Vincent E. Cox III
Councilman District Three
Councilwoman District Four
NAMA's Southern Office is situated at 2300 Lakeview Pky., Ste. 700, Alpharetta, GA 30009: tel. (678) 916-38, fax (678) 916-3853. Monaghan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.