Attention, clairvoyants: You likely will soon be able to legally ply your trade in Gretna.
But then, you probably saw that coming.
An overhaul of Gretna’s code of ordinances to be introduced at Wednesday night’s City Council meeting includes — among a raft of other adjustments — the elimination of a ban on professional fortune-tellers, palm readers and clairvoyants.
The ban, which also outlaws phrenology and “any other method purporting to predict or influence future happenings,” is one of many current laws deemed obsolete by the company in charge of the city’s first overhaul of its laws since 1997.
And what’s the problem with banning such prognostication?
“Financial advisers routinely violate this section,” Florida-based Municipal Code Corp. notes.
The company’s proposals will be available on the city’s website in a day or two.
After receiving input from the public and city officials, the council plans to vote next month on whether to accept the changes.
Councilman Joe Marino said many of the changes, such as renumbering the ordinances and moving some of them around, may seem minor but are important for keeping the code organized and easy to read.
Other changes are intended to bring the code up to date. This happens in small ways, such as making the pronouns gender-neutral, and larger ones, such as striking out laws that have been deemed unconstitutional since they were passed.
That’s the case with the city’s drug-traffic loitering ordinance, which says police can consider you a potential drug dealer if you repeatedly beckon or attempt to engage passers-by in conversation or are seen to “transfer small objects or packages for currency in a furtive fashion.”
The overhaul also will take into account things that didn’t exist when certain ordinances were written.
Laws to prevent underage smoking, for example, will be broadened to include vaping and e-cigarettes, for example, Marino said.
The revamped code was originally intended for introduction late last year, but the council delayed it to allow more time for input from the city administration and council members.
Work on the recodification actually began 18 months ago, with Marino and City Attorney Mark Morgan handling the task for the city.
“What we’re doing in effect is changing many, many different sections of our code at one time,” Marino said. He said it has been “a long and arduous process” that continues to yield new and unexpected revisions.
Still, he said he expects the overhauled code to be ready for approval at the May meeting.
Follow Chad Calder on Twitter, @Chad_Calder.