An Alabama mayor is working to clear up misunderstandings after national news outlets picked up on a local TV news report about teens in the Birmingham suburb needing a business license to cut grass.
While technically you need a license to operate a business in Gardendale, the ordinance was never meant to include teens trying to earn a little money by mowing lawns, says Mayor Stan Hogeland.
“Our business license ordinance was put in effect back in 2007,” he wrote in a comment on his Facebook page on Thursday. “There was never any intent to license kids mowing grass during the summer (common sense). I’m confident that we will get this behind us Monday night at council meeting.”
A business license in Gardendale costs $110.
A man recently told a news crew from the local ABC affiliate that his granddaughter felt pressured to get a license.
“One of the men that cuts several yards made a remark to one of our neighbors, ‘that if he saw her cutting grass again that he was going to call Gardendale because she didn’t have a business license,” Elton Campbell told ABC 33/40.
Alainna Parris, Campbell’s granddaughter, said the man is “coming after a kid when a kid is at least trying to do work.” She noted that a lot of her peers are at home using electronic devices and don’t want to step outside.
News of her predicament led to outrage on social media.
But Mayor Hogeland says he doesn’t want grass-cutting teens to have to worry about getting a costly business license.
“As I have said many times, I am working on a solution to address this issue,” he said on Facebook. “I am confident that with help from our city council and our city attorney we can come up with a solution that will enable our teenagers to perform service oriented jobs during the summer months that doesn’t inhibit their will to make spending money.”