Hermann mayor, aldermen split over allowing pizza vendors in town
By staff writer
The Hermann Board of Aldermen and mayor discussed the issue of pizza trucks again at Monday night’s city council meeting, but nothing was decided.
There’s a difference of opinion between Mayor Tom Shabel and some aldermen as to whether or not to allow pizza truck vendors to sell in town.
Several weeks ago, Mayor Shabel asked City Attorney Dave Politte to look into whether the city could regulate “food trucks,” and more specifically, the pizza trucks that come to town once a week.
The vendors who sell from those trucks are issued general business licenses, and the city receives the taxes on the food truck sales.
Politte said in his opinion, the city cannot legally prohibit the food trucks, but believes the city’s code can be amended to appropriately restrict them.
He said if the city’s goal is to eliminate them, then perhaps the most effective way would be to come up with a “Duration Permit” which provides that no itinerant vendor may carry on business within the city in any temporary location for more than 14 days in any calendar year.
Ward 1 alderman Bruce Cox said since the last time the subject was discussed at a city council meeting, he has been approached by many citizens about it. They want the pizza trucks to stay.
“They are offering the citizens a service; they want it,” said Cox. “It is a free enterprise system. If we are going to do that (regulate pizza vendors), what about the construction companies, lawn services or pest control companies that come from out of town, are we going to regulate them?”
Justin Alferman, alderman in Ward 2, agreed.
“I don’t think we should be involved in regulating their business. We should not be picking winners and losers,” he said.
“I had an insurance agent in town come up to me and tell me how wrong this was,” Alferman added.
Cox said he was told by one local citizens, “I’ll drive to Washington and buy my pizza, and then I will do my grocery shopping there.”