published Sunday, July 13th, 2014

South Pittsburg board eyes sagging pants ordinance

SOUTH PITTSBURG, Tenn. — The South Pittsburg City Commission will study ordinances passed by other municipalities in an effort to rid the city of sagging pants.

City Commissioner Jimmy Wigfall said South Pittsburg needs to pass a law against wearing pants unusually low, but he is not sure exactly how the board should address the issue.

"It's just something for us to think about," he said. "If we need to, maybe we pass some type of ordinance where you can only sag just so low or something."

City Attorney Billy Gouger said he will look into ordinances approved in other towns and report his findings at the board's next regular meeting.

"I know there have been some other jurisdictions that have tried to address that," he said. "I'll be glad to look into that, but I haven't had a lot of work on that. It's the first time I've had anybody introduce that."

The Pikeville, Tenn., City Council voted unanimously on first reading in May to ban sagging pants as a part of a new public indecency ordinance.

That city's statute calls for a $25 fine for a first offense and not more than $50 for later offenses.

Wigfall said South Pittsburg needs to tackle the issue of sagging pants because it's something he sees all the time, even when some kids are playing basketball at local parks.

"We may have to have a sag limit because some of them sag pretty low," he said. "I don't know how you play ball while holding your pants up."

Mayor Jane Dawkins said Wigfall is right.

"Some of [the people wearing sagging pants] haven't gotten the memo," she said. "That's sort of getting out of style now. It's sort of old, and they haven't caught up yet."

Ryan Lewis is based in Marion County. Contact him at ryanlewis34@gmail.com.

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