Baggy pants brought up at work session
By Stephanie Johns
Members of the Madison City Council shared their concerns about the proposed baggy pants ordinance.
Councilman Fred Perriman said he has received positive feedback about the proposed ordinance. He explained that he just wants people to pull up their pants so that they are not showing their undergarments.
Councilman Joe DiLetto asked where it would end.
“Do you then get girls for short skirts? For short shorts? Guys for no shirts? ” he said.
Councilman Rick Blanton said they already have an ‘indecent exposure’ law.
Councilman Michael Naples explained that that law deals with the “intentional showing of one’s genitals” and not the showing of one’s undergarments.
“It’s in the eye of the beholder,” he said, noting his opposition. “It’s putting a tremendous responsibility on our police force.”
He recommended that people avert their eyes from those wearing baggy pants if it bothers them.
“It’s a style,” he said. “It’s a fad that’s passed in other places.”
Naples then mentioned the Beatles-inspired long hair on males and later the hippy dress.
Regarding the argument that one could hide a weapon in baggy pants, he called that “absurd.”
“I could secret a weapon in the outfit I came in here today,” he said.
As to the argument that baggy pants might create a tripping hazard, he said he would like to know the incidence number of people tripping on long pants versus the number tripping on broken sidewalks or high heels.
“I’m willing to counter the safety issue there,” he said.
DiLetto said he has seen fewer and fewer employees who go to work in baggy pants because they must wear suspenders.
He suggested that Perriman confront those he sees wearing baggy pants.
“Tell them what you think of it,” he said.
Naples agreed, “It’s a teaching moment.”
Printed in the December 27, 2012 edition