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Mayor Explains Veto of Unanimous City Council Vote on Sunday Sales

Douglasville Mayor Harvey Persons explains why he decided to veto two City Council votes. One would approve a Sunday sales referendum and the other would extend alcohol serving hours on Sunday mornings until 2 a.m.

Mayor Harvey Persons has decided to veto the City Council's unanimous vote, approving Sunday sales and their five-to-two vote, extending alcohol serving hours on Sunday mornings until 2 a.m.

Restaurants were warned at the end of last week not to start utilizing the extended pouring hours immediately.

In a statement to Douglasville Patch today, (.pdf attached) Persons said "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."

The Mayor signed the veto at 11:57 a.m. today, in front of City Clerk Joyce Stone, according to the attached veto. There was some confusion whether the veto had to be signed by noon or 7:30 p.m. Part I, Article II, Section 2.33 (b) of the City's charter seems to indicate noon.

"The Douglasville Mayor has the authority to veto any action of the City Council," reads the statement. "These two vetoes will be reported officially to the City Council during its Tuesday, May 15, legislative work session. The City Council during its regular meeting on Monday, May 21, can override each of the Mayor’s vetoes should five members vote to do so."

"I opposed this change in the City’s current ordinance because I believe it negatively would impact the public safety of the City and would result in our streets and roads becoming more dangerous," Persons said of extending pouring hours till 2 a.m. on Sunday.

Regarding letting voters have the chance to vote on a Nov. 6 Sunday sales referendum, the Mayor said, "I am opposed to this, and I feel there already is sufficient time during the week when people can make purchases of packaged beer, wine, and spirituous liquor."

M A Guider May 19, 2012 at 02:31 PM
Since our Ga Constitution gives him that right. That is the reason we have a representative democracy. He is doing exactly what he is suppose to do. He looks at ALL the issues and makes a decision based on facts and data. He is charged with the responsibility of doing what is right for the PUBLIC INTEREST. Individuals vote on THEIR interest. m
Patty Wenck May 19, 2012 at 02:39 PM
If I remember correctly, less that 3,000 people honored their freedom to vote for Mayor. Maybe now more will take this responsibility more seriously no matter which way they prefer to vote.
Civic Action May 19, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Mr. Sagoes, If I am reading the maps correctly, it looks like you vote at Winston Elementary for County, State and Federal elections. Since Winston Elementary is not within the Douglasville city limits, it cannot be used for city elections according to state law. For city elections, you vote at the Old Courthouse in downtown Douglasville. A large percentage of city residents have two different polling places just like you. In November 2011, you would have to have gone to two different places to vote in order to be able to vote on both the ESPLOST and the Mayors race. The same thing will occur in November 2012, if the city council overrides the mayor's veto. Two avoid having to vote in two different places on the same day, you can take advantage of early voting at the courthouse where you can vote on both ballots (on two different voting machines). Here is a link to a document on the city website which shows who votes where. http://www.ci.douglasville.ga.us/DocumentCenter/Home/View/556 As we get closer to November, I will ask the Douglasville Patch to provide this information to the readers. (IMHO, the city doesn't do the best job in communicating this.)
Civic Action May 19, 2012 at 03:18 PM
Sorry for the typos. :D
Civic Action May 19, 2012 at 03:30 PM
You are correct. Less than 2,700 in November and just over 2,000 in the December runoff. There are over 14,000 registered voters in the city of Douglasville.
FlowerChild72 May 19, 2012 at 04:37 PM
Ha! Ha! How'd you guess!!!
FlowerChild72 May 19, 2012 at 04:42 PM
I agree with everything you say EXCEPT not allowing people the right to make that choice. It is not his call. And look around....Atlanta is already here, along most of the NorthEast and Louisiana.
FlowerChild72 May 19, 2012 at 04:47 PM
That's right!!! We got "Boss Hawg" for our Mayor!! Oh! Brother!!!
Health Writer May 19, 2012 at 09:51 PM
I am not a Baptist and I support the Mayor's decision. Alcohol is a drug and it is a dangerous one. If you want to pickle your liver, it's your decision. You can do it any day of the week. Why do you get all unglued about not being able to do it in one day out of seven?
Linda Stauffer May 19, 2012 at 10:23 PM
Very good point Health Writer. Thank you
Health Writer May 20, 2012 at 12:28 AM
You're welcome, Linda. I forgot to mention brain damage along with the pickled liver. With some of the comments here, maybe the harm's already been done. I rest my case!
Bob Sagoes May 20, 2012 at 02:18 AM
Pure socialism at its best as I see it. Also he wants to be a one term kind of guy. He will for sure get my vote on that issue.
Libertarian Mike May 20, 2012 at 02:27 AM
Do you hear yourself? Unbelievable! Is your next crusade to remove toys from McDonald's Happy Meals? I bet. I think in 15 years, I've been inside one of Douglasville's "package stores" twice. That doesn't mean that I'm enraged that the rights of citizens is being curtailed by one individual despite popular support and legislative support. I forget the quote, but a democratic leader once pointed out that, were you to allow all of the small minorities' rights to be removed, one day, the only minority left will be you. Something like that. I think those natural herbs might be interfering in your logic pattern.
Tributary Resident May 20, 2012 at 10:39 AM
I am sorry but I want the freedom to choose 7 days of the week, 365 days of the year. Anything less is UnAmerican!
Bob Sagoes May 20, 2012 at 12:38 PM
LM, Nope, toys can stay. Even if they have to pay for them now. I just don't want someone telling what I can and can't do, this is America, you know. If you choose not to go into a store then that is your right. I put in thirty years to protect, and defend that right for you, and America. I think we would make great friends, and have some great conversations. Thanks. Now for me to find out where it is that I have two voting places that I've known nothing about.
Health Writer May 20, 2012 at 12:41 PM
The "logic" you've expressed is the same kind that pornographers use to peddle their smut. When your rights to imbibe infringe on my rights to driving on a safe road is where the law steps in. That's why we have traffic lights. Is it UNAmerican to not be able to drive whenever you want, in whatever direction? Certain laws are in place to protect society. If you want to live the law of the jungle, then maybe you should move to one.
Bob Sagoes May 20, 2012 at 12:42 PM
OK, thanks for this info that I've never known. I vote at two places. The school, and old court house. Why I've never been told this is beyond me, maybe there was a reason. I know now, and will for sure be there to place an informed vote.
Libertarian Mike May 20, 2012 at 01:38 PM
If it weren't for the fact that the majority of Douglasville citizens and the vast majority of respondents here seem to understand what this issue is about and what our country is all about, your opinion would bother me more. For the record, it is against the law to peddle or consume child porn because there are real victims involved. Likewise, it is illegal to drink and drive, whatever day of the week it is. Incidentally, while there are terrible DUI-related crashes, as a society, we have found ways to reduce the number by more than half over the last 12 years. That has NOT been accomplished by curtailing Sunday sales. In fact, there have been no new bans during that time, but MANY places where the citizens decided that the government overstepped its constitutional bounds and charter by imposing them in the first place.
Civic Action May 20, 2012 at 02:54 PM
You can also find this information at the Georgia Secretary of State's website: http://sos.ga.gov/mvp You will be asked to enter your first initial and last name, county of residence and date of birth. You will get a page that tells you your county polling place, who your elected officials are and sample ballots. There will also be a link on that page to take you to your polling place for city elections. Like I said before, the city doesn't to a very good job of communicating this.
Dick Jones May 20, 2012 at 04:18 PM
Holy Smokes! That state web site (http://sos.ga.gov/mvp) is a haven for identity thieves. All you need is first initial, last name, county of residence and a birth date to get a voter's full name, home address and a link to change THEIR address in the state database. As a former fraud investigator, I find that frightening. The state need to take a look at that system and tighten up security.
JB May 21, 2012 at 03:54 AM
Man, where were all you people when the Government made us give up our freedom concerning wearing safety belts for "our" safety? Or allowing the WSA to collect "storm drainage fees(taxes) from people who are not connected to the public water system or sewage system? While I agree that it should be put to a vote ( I do not live within the city limits), there a great many things that our government gets away with concerning our freedom and you knotheads don't gripe about them. If you think not getting to drink on Sundays or past 2AM is such a travisty just wait until you wake up one morning and our government tells you that you can't leave your home without permission. HA!
Jameson May 21, 2012 at 03:57 AM
If WE THE PEOPLE have the SAY (in the long run) then WHY do we have any ONE PERSON (the mayor) TELLING US what he thinks we say or what is best for us. It's up to US to choose if WE want alcohol today tomorrow or the next or even SUNDAY! Mayor said he was concerned about drinking and driving, well Vila Rica is about 15 miles away and they sell alcohol and how many people you think know that in Douglasville? And you best bet that people are going to DRIVE (the thing the mayor is afraid of) drunk or not to get alcohol, hopefully no drunk driving, but you have to take in consideration its possibilities.
Jameson May 21, 2012 at 04:32 AM
By vetoing this he is only making more citizens rise to the occasion and really letting him know who's voice is REALLY heard.
LeeR May 21, 2012 at 01:59 PM
Aside from this issue, the Sentinel reports that Mayor Persons ran his brand new "City paid for" Chevy Tahoe, he had to have because it made such good economic sense, into a light pole. The repairs were done at Wren's Body Shop for the sum of $10,132.66 according to City Finance Director Karin Callan. WOW!! What else will voter's look forward to in the next three and a half years he is in office?
Rick Acree May 21, 2012 at 02:07 PM
I would like to propose a new law to enhance public safety. Mayor Persons should not be allowed to drive unless all citizens have been given 2 hours notice of his route and all light poles have been covered in NASCAR approved safety barriers.
LeeR May 21, 2012 at 02:44 PM
The AJC reported this yesterday about the general discussion going on here. http://www.ajc.com/news/new-douglasville-mayor-under-1441498.html
Libertarian Mike May 21, 2012 at 03:25 PM
Even strident libertarians support the seat belt law as it does infringe on other peoples' rights in the form of hospital fees and insurance rates. If every person were to sign a statement saying that, were they to be injured in a traffic accident regardless of who is at fault that they will not accept one penny of insurance money, then I wouldn't care. And, every minor should be required to wear a seat belt along with every other person in a car when a minor is on board. There could be a special insurance policy that could be purchased covering those who are not wearing seat belts, perhaps, but, like other stupid, high-risk activities, the premiums would be high enough to cover insurance companies' costs in the long run without touching premiums paid by the rest of us.
Libertarian Mike May 21, 2012 at 03:27 PM
I still can't believe that he first invoked the notion that "the majority of citizens oppose changing the ban," and then chides the citizens for wanting to vote. I love this paradox, also: "I was elected to make decisions. Do you vote on speed limits or zoning matters? No,” Mr. Mayor, the city councilmen and women were ALSO ELECTED TO MAKE DECISIONS! All seven of them did on one and five of seven of the other. I guarantee you that, were the mayor to veto a 7-0 zoning issue vote, there would be push-back! Especially if he made the decision due his personal bias or interest against the populace and the OTHER ELECTED LEADERS, like this one.
Bob Sagoes May 22, 2012 at 04:53 AM
Ha! the good part of this is that I still have those blue trash bags. Wonder if they are still good? Not sure what he meant when he said that there was a lot of progressive people moving into Douglasville. I am not for sure a progressive.
Bob Sagoes May 22, 2012 at 05:01 AM
Since I did not get to vote, I would say a re-call could happen. I'm not sure, but did the people vote on this issue? I now know that I have to vote in two places, one for Winston, and the other for Douglasville. didn't know this before as I was not informed, the one time I went to the voting office they didn't know. I really didn't do my part so I have no one to blame on not voting, but myself but I can bet you it will never happen again.

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