OLD ORCHARD BEACH — Town councilors would like to clean up what they see as offensive storefronts in the downtown.

At the end of Tuesday night’s town council meeting, Councilor Malorie Pastor said she was taking a walk with her 3-year-old daughter recently and saw a display in a downtown storefront window that she found distasteful.

“I was shocked, offended and I don’t get offended that much,” she said. “Is there anything in place to filter this a little bit?”

Pastor said she had recently been to Boothbay Harbor, a summer coastal tourist community, and there wasn’t anything like it there.

Police Chief Dana Kelley said police are limited in what they can do, due to First Amendment rights protecting freedom of speech. He said police have made stops to stores with items in windows that people find offensive, and asked them if they wouldn’t mind moving the inventory away from the window.

Council Chairman Shawn O’Neil said he was “dismayed” to be hearing about the store display downtown.

“That is absolutely inappropriate and unprofessional,” he said. “This is not the type of business we want on our Main Street.”

O’Neil said the town could look into setting standards when giving business licenses.

“If this is what they’re going to sell, we don’t have to license them,” he said.

Pastor said in an email Wednesday the store with the window display she found offensive was Zanzibar, on Old Orchard Street. In the window of the store Wednesday afternoon was an array of T-shirts and other summer clothing, many with sexual themes or drug references.

On Wednesday, an employee at Zanzibar, who identified himself as Joe and said he was the manager, said the police chief had come into his store Tuesday night and spoken to him.

“Everything is set, everything is good,” he said.

He said the store didn’t have “anything dirty” in the window.

— Staff Writer Liz Gotthelf can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 325 or [email protected]

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