Whenever the City of Memphis gets through combing the SC statutes for something that does not apply to me but that they could threaten me with anyway, I wonder if they might turn their attention to their own backyard. Specifically, there appears to be a gaping hole in the oversight department regarding the public solicitation of funds in Memphis.
Sec. 2-54-1 – Created.
For the purpose of authorizing, regulating, restricting and controlling the public begging or soliciting of money, subscriptions or contributions for any charitable, religious, educational or benevolent purpose, there is created a board of supervisors of public solicitation of funds.
(Code 1985 § 30-16; Code 1967 § 30-16)
Sec. 2-54-2 – Composition—Appointment and terms of members.
The board of supervisors shall consist of seven members, who shall be appointed by the mayor, subject to approval of the city council, and who shall hold office for a term of one calendar year, or until their successors are appointed and qualified.
(Code 1985 § 30-17; Code 1967 § 33-14)
Sec. 6-64-3 – Permit required.
It is unlawful for any person to engage in or conduct any public solicitation without a permit duly issued by the board of supervisors.
(Code 1985 § 30-36; Code 1967 § 33-32)
Sec. 6-64-4 – Permit application.
Any person desiring a permit required by Section 6-64-3 shall file with the board of supervisors an application on a form approved by such board and shall answer, under oath, all of the questions contained in such form and furnish to such board all such information with reference to such public solicitation as may be of assistance to the board in determining whether the permit shall be given to such person. The failure or refusal to file such application and furnish such information shall constitute sufficient grounds for the board of supervisors, or the secretary of such board, to decline the application.
(Code 1985 § 30-37; Code 1967 § 33-33)
Sec. 6-64-5 – Investigation of application—Issuance and contents.A.It shall be the duty of the secretary of the board of supervisors to investigate all applications for a permit under this chapter. If the secretary, after such investigation, is satisfied that the purpose of such solicitation is a bona fide charitable, religious, educational or benevolent purpose, and that the applicant for a permit will solicit in good faith and in the manner authorized for such bona fide charitable, religious, educational or benevolent purposes and that a proper proportion of the money subscribed or contributed will be used for the purpose for which the subscription or contribution is made, it shall be the duty of the secretary to issue to such applicant a permit in the form of a card, giving the name of the person so authorized to solicit, the purpose for which the funds are being solicited, the time within which solicitations of money, contributions or subscriptions are permitted, the manner in which such solicitation is authorized, and whether the person soliciting such funds is being paid for his or her services as such solicitor. For purposes of this subsection, the use of less than seventy-five (75) percent of the money subscribed or contributed for the purpose for which such money was given shall create a rebuttable presumption that a proper proportion of the money has not been or will not be used for the purpose for which such money was subscribed or contributed.B.It shall not be necessary for each solicitor to apply to the board of supervisors where more than one person is soliciting for the same purpose, but a general application for such persons may be made by any one of them, and permit cards for all such solicitors may be issued upon one application therefor.
(Code 1985 § 30-38; Code 1967 § 33-34)
But when you look up the seven member Board of Supervisors, guess what? It’s a blanker.
Has the Mayor taken no action to establish the Board of Supervisors which ensures that the public solicitation of funds in Memphis is done in compliance with city laws? If not, is it because his administration is too busy with other matters?