Lacey council amends ordinance to help pawnbrokers, secondhand dealers

The Lacey City Council Thursday night unanimously approved amending a city ordinance that will ease the reporting requirements for pawnbrokers and those businesses that deal in secondhand goods.

Deputy Mayor Cynthia Pratt was absent Thursday night, but the six council members in attendance approved the change. Prior to the vote, councilman Lenny Greenstein praised the amendment for being business friendly and a step for good government.

Under the old ordinance, pawnbrokers and secondhand dealers were required to report to police all of their transactions from the previous day, with an emphasis on items that are most commonly stolen: firearms, power equipment, electronics, jewelry, precious metals and other items that can be identified through a serial number.

Some businesses used the police department’s automated system, but some chose to submit written reports. Those businesses then questioned the need to report things such as used furniture, used baby clothing, comic books and other collectables.

With that in mind, the ordinance was amended to focus on those items most commonly stolen. In addition to helping the business, it also is expected to reduce the amount of police department staff time previously needed to enter all of those transactions into a database.

Also Thursday night:

-Richard Jones was named the 2014 Lacey Historian of the Year. Jones is a former Lacey council member, author and he also volunteers at the Lacey Museum. Last year’s Lacey Historian of the Year was Susan Goff.

-During public comment, Jubilee resident John Bowser, and a member of Turning Point Church, raised concerns about a marijuana-related business proposed less than 100 feet from the church near Hawks Prairie Road N.E. and Marvin Road N.E. He said the idea of a marijuana-related business there is incompatible with a church that serves chlidren, youth, as well as adults trying to recover from addictions. He asked the council to pass a moratorium on vetting and permitting licenses for those businesses. His request stimulated questions and comments from the council, but no action was taken.