Earlier this month Cononie persuaded the City of Aventura to reject an ordinance that would have kept his vendors off the streets of that burg. Commissioners agreed to hold a workshop on the issue and return with a proposal that would not prohibit the sale of the newspaper.
The turnabout was in part due to impassioned opposition by Commissioner Jay Beskin, a Davie attorney. "At bottom I think the purpose of this ordinance is insidious," Beskin says. "It's to keep people we don't want in Aventura out of Aventura. We want to keep newspaper [vendors] who are not homeless but [are] close to homeless out of Aventura. We can't differentiate between different types of vendors because of the content of what they're vending. [The proposed ordinance] is a blot and a stain on the people of the City of Aventura."
Word on the street: Commissioners in several SoFla cities have proposed laws to sweep away Homeless Voice vendors
Likewise Cononie says Hallandale Beach's response reflects poorly on that city. He says he can't figure out why officials resist his vendors' presence, particularly after other cities have grudgingly accepted them. "Maybe," Cononie says with a sigh that belies his usual feistiness, "they just think they're better than everyone else."