Written by Michael Crowe, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
The Waterloo City Council is considering an ordinance limiting where payday lenders can set up shop.
Councilman Patrick Morrissey is pushing for the change.
Monday was the second reading of the proposal. If passed, it would not affect existing businesses.
Some at the meeting said payday lenders prey on low-income families with high-interest, short-term loans. On the other hand, some say people should have the right to choose.
"I understand that some people may take advantage of these institutions and they may get in over their head," said Josh Wilson, of Waterloo. "But I don't think it's the City Council's or any government body's responsibility to step in and babysit these people."
On the other hand, University of Northern Iowa criminology professor Joe Gorton supported the ordinance.
"It's also really good for the community if we can be smart on crime," he said. "I think restricting the propensity of these, the presence of these outfits in our community -- and I say this as a Waterloo citizen -- is really a way to improve public safety."
The council voted to approve the ordinance 5-2, with councilmen Steve Schmitt and Tom Lind voting against it.
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