Google+ Georgia On My Mind: Waiting on the Vote

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Waiting on the Vote

So, I guess a lot can happen in 16 days…..I arrived home from a lovely sojourn to the beach, published an article here at Georgia on My Mind regarding Sunday alcohol sales, dealt with some air conditioning issues, was elated to hear the Douglasville City Council had unanimously decided to allow the people to vote on the Sunday sales issue this November, dealt with a fire in downtown Douglasville, and then……….surprise!    Our Mayor decided to veto the unanimous council decision.  He also vetoed a resolution that would extend pouring hours.

His reason?

A press release stated, ”…both vetoes are based on public safety concerns and his belief that a majority of Douglasville’s citizens are opposed to the two measures approved by the City Council.”

He also said, “I campaigned for mayor on a pledge to help make this a safe community to live in, to help make it one of the premier places in America to live, work, play and raise a family.  That is what I intend to do, as I consider the decisions I must make as mayor.”

Apparently the Mayor’s idea of making Douglasville a premier place is by lifting the heavy burden of the act of voting from the people and making all the decisions himself.

So, last night I Googled the words “mayor”, “Douglasville”, and “veto”….those are the only three words I needed to find more Google links than I cared to know about…..almost six pages full of various links ……..regarding Mayor Harvey Person’s veto.

If you notice I didn’t even need to Google his name.

Some of the links I expected…. Douglasville Patch here (see all of the comments and the Mayor’s complete press release) and a second Patch article here and the local paper…..the Douglas County Sentinel.    

The AJC was expected along with the local television stations like CBS-Atlanta and even WABE our PBS station where my beloved high school teacher, Mr. Goss is an on-air personality can be found here, BUT I really didn’t expect to find the story repeated over and over in places like Macon, Savannah, Columbus, and even Augusta.

Then there were the out of state outlets….Jacksonville, Florida, Chattanooga, Tennessee, The Republic from Columbus, Indiana and don’t forget Spartanburg, Greenville and Anderson, South Carolina.

Hmmm…seems like the Mayor has really gotten the attention of lots of people out of town.   Yes, based on the comments at some of these links people are really encouraged to come to Douglasville.

Last night I saw  Peach Pundit had picked up story and in the comments “Three Jack” linked his or her comment to a Question and Answer  for the Candidates published at Douglasville Patch here ……and yes, if you click through you discover I authored the column.   I wrote the questions with input from friends, emailed the questions and then copy and pasted the candidate’s responses into the column for publication…..just as they were sent to me. 
One particular question I asked was…..Do you think there should be a vote on Sunday package sales allowed? Why or why not?

Mayor Persons responded, “I personally do not favor Sunday package sales of alcohol, but feel that there is substantial public opinion to allow it to be placed on the ballot and allow the citizens to decide. The facts for both sides need to be presented and the citizens need to decide this issue.

So.....the citizens need to decide.    Doesn’t that mean they get to vote?

Apparently the answer is no per the Mayor.

Since the election the Mayor has hemmed and hawed regarding the issue. He placed the matter in committee to “gather information” and “analyze the issue”.

What’s so hard about letting people vote?  Over 100 jurisdictions across the state of Georgia did just that during last November’s election. 

In February, a friend of mine emailed the Mayor…was passed off to the committee chair and then was told until there  was a full hearing  of citizens no action would take place….citizen input they advised was important.   

Citizen input…..doesn’t that include asking for the right the vote….especially since the General Assembly thinks it’s okay?

During my Google search to see who else was discussing events in Douglasville I found the blog The Diction of Politics…..not only did this blog’s author discuss the situation,and the candidate’s question and answer forum…..they also named me.   The author decided to write a letter to the Mayor.   Click through and read what Alix has to say here.

I also invite you to check out the Facebook page for Douglasville and Douglas County for Sunday Alcohol Sales here.

And then today the Neal Boortz show picked up the story.  Mr. Boortz railed against Mayor Person’s for his comments while campaigning and subsequent veto.    I had planned sleep in a little this morning, but my phone began ringing as Dear Husband wanted to alert me that Neal’s target of the day was none other than our Mayor who was elected just this past November by the citizens of Douglasville.  

Neal Boortz didn’t just talk about the Mayor and his veto during the first hour when he’s just heard in the Atlanta area……he continued on and off during his entire show which is syndicated and reaches 230 radio stations nationwide with a listening audience of six million people.

Six million people representing families looking for a new place to live….six million people representing business owners wanting to re-locate their business…..Damn.

Come to Douglasville where the Mayor will pat you on the head and decide what is best for you.

….and I have to tell you as a lover of history and as a Social Studies educator….the Mayor’s veto has really broken my heart.

No, it’s not because I want to purchase a drink on a Sunday.  

It has to do with the vote.

This issue became convoluted with the rights and wrongs of consuming alcohol… was too early for that, and the last time I checked it is a legal substance.    At the council level this issue was about letting the people vote or not letting the people vote.

What many are losing sight of…..the Douglasville City Council decided to allow the people to vote, and….let’s make sure we are clear on the issue….the Mayor did NOT veto Sunday sales.   

He vetoed the citizen’s right to vote.

The right to vote is precious.

Voting is one of the things I constantly discussed with students.   I would tell them that once they turned 18 the first thing they should do is register to vote…..and if they didn’t I would hunt them down and haunt them.

Why would anyone waste their opportunity to vote?

Why would anyone appreciate an elected official who took your right to vote away?

Let the people vote!!!!


The Oracle said...

Don't forget to mention that Sheriff Miller and Police Chief Womack said that it is NOT a public safety issue.

Apparently Mayor Persons uses his intuition rather than facts to back up his decisions.

EHT said...

Ah...thank you for that link all great and powerful Oracle. :) I noticed that neither Womack or Miller were at the Council meeting back before the vote. There was a deputy who showed up to spout something about the high number of DUIs the county racks up as people exit off Thornton Road from Atlanta. No one wanted to point out that if people could purchase here and stay HOME it wouldn't be as much of an issue.

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