2016 Local Ordinances

“Road Diet” for Chase Street

Chase Street was reconfigured to three lanes with bike lanes, while keeping the center turn lane for the residential portion of this street. After a short trial period, it was returned to the old configuration due to complaints from drivers.

Voting yes on complete streets: Hamby, Bell, NeSmith, Bailey, Link, Girtz
Voting no: Herod, Dickerson, Sims, Wright

CDO made by: Link, Proposal made by: Girtz
Voting yes on ‘dividing the question’ in an attempt to remove some complete streets components: Herod, Dickerson, Sims, Wright, Bell, Mayor Denson

Passed on May 3, 2016

Allow for the Sale of Growlers in Brewpubs

Allowed for the sale of growlers at brewpubs in Athens. The current alcohol laws in Georgia, some of them holdovers from the Prohibition era, are overly complex and harm what is a growing industry in Athens.

Voting yes on allowing growlers: Hamby, Bell, NeSmith, Bailey, Link, Herod, Dickerson, Sims, Wright
Voting no: none
Absent: Girtz

CDO and Proposal made by: NeSmith

Passed on July 5, 2016

Fare-Free Buses for K-12 Students

This legislation allowed for K-12 students ride Athens Transit free of charge.  During the summer pilot program in 2016, youth ridership went up by a massive 600% once fares were removed.  The commission thought it made sense to help kids get to school — after all, we don’t charge for school bus rides either and the Clarke County School District has previously been one of the biggest purchasers of bus passes after UGA.

Voting yes on fare-free rides for kids: Hamby, Bell, NeSmith, Bailey, Link, Herod, Dickerson, Sims, Wright, Girtz
Voting no: none
Absent: none

CDO and Proposal made by: Girtz

Passed on August 2, 2016

Downtown Anti-Discrimination Ordinance and Civil Rights Committee

This legislation put more regulation on what bars can and cannot do to stop people from entering, such as dress codes and holding of private parties. It came about because numerous black and gay college students reported being denied entry due to minor differences in what they were wearing. These minor differences were inconsistently enforced by bar bouncers. The legislation also asked staff to report on other ways the local government could be fighting discrimination, such as creating an Athens Civil Rights Committee. However, this vote was strangely contentious. Melissa Link and Kelly Girtz, two of the strongest advocates for the Civil Rights Committee, had to abstain from this vote because it did not include an amendment to involve the public in the committee creation process. Jerry NeSmith and Jared Bailey even voted no for that same reason, even though they strongly supported the measure.

Voting yes: Hamby, Bell, Herod, Dickerson, Sims, Wright
Voting no: NeSmith, Bailey
Abstaining: Link, Girtz
Absent: none

There were multiple competing CDOs that were roughly equivalent.
Amendment for public input made by Melissa Link and put forward by Kelly Girtz (but was rejected by Andy Herod).
Proposal that passed was made by: Herod

Passed on November 1, 2016