City Council has voted unanimously to fund an $80,000 program to establish “Downtown Mall ambassadors,” Graham Moomaw writes for the Daily Progress. That’ll pay for four seasonal employees to provide directions to tourists, perform light maintenance, and other small tasks…but the real impetus is to try to deal with the ongoing problem of aggressive, apparently coordinated panhandlers. City police were trying to get the funding to increase police presence in response to panhandlers, but council balked at the price tag. Not being police, it’s not clear that these new folks will have the power to do anything at all. Council regards this as an experiment, one that they’ll evaluate the success of next summer.