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Robinson Abstains from Youth Violence Resolution Vote

Commissioner Kelly Robinson said the resolution could infringe on the rights of citizens.

One who abstained from voting on a resolution aimed at ending youth violence said he doesn’t want “Big Brother” watching over the residents.

Commissioner Kelly Robinson said the resolution, which states that residents can voluntarily tell law enforcement officers when they hold a house party, infringes on property rights.

“We have to be very careful,” Robinson said. “We must always be mindful of the rights of everyone.”

The BOC voted 4-0 to approve the resolution, which was read by Monique Rivarde, the mother of 18-year-old Bobby Tillman, who was beaten to death outside a party at a Douglasville home in November 2010. The Douglas County District Attorney's Office is against two of the four people accused of the crime. The Douglasville City Council in September.

Robinson said his own son was “jumped” in a bathroom and kicked 21 times.

“I’m very sensitive to this issue,” he said.

However, the issue comes down to privacy rights, Robinson said. The first version of the resolution “expanded the power of the ” while the one approved by the BOC states that residents can voluntarily inform the DCSO when they plan to hold a party. That’s something that Robinson said residents can do without a resolution.

“We have to be careful when we pass certain things,” he said. “It’s important we protect the rights of all citizens.”

The BOC also voted 4-1 to send a new district map to the general assembly for approval. Redistricting was necessary after the 2010 Census, which showed District 3’s population approximately 4,000 over the ideal 33,100 and District 2’s approximately 3,800 below that number. Robinson cast the dissenting vote, citing the fact that in his new district, approximately 55 percent of the population will be African-American while approximately 8 percent will be Hispanic.

“That’s culturally insensitive,” he said. “You have one voting bloc.”

The proposed map was on display at the , the and on the county’s website for public comment for more than 30 days. Officials said only four comments were submitted, two of which were from the same person. Commissioners said they were disappointed in the lack of participation.

“It’s unfortunate that we didn’t have much input,” BOC Chairman Tom Worthan said.

If approved by the General Assembly, the map will be sent to the Justice Department for pre-clearance. It would go into effect Jan. 1, 2013.

“We don’t expect any problems with pre-clearance,” said Ken Bernard, county attorney.

In other business, the BOC:

  • Approved a change order reducing the Guaranteed Maximum Price for the new jail by $340,000 and transferring those funds to the architectural and engineering line item to cover additional services by HO+K.
  • Approved the transfer $18,801 from construction contingency for costs associated with miscellaneous electrical changes at the new jail.
  • Approved the transfer of $50,000 from construction contingency for costs associated with RFID design of the new jail.
  • Approved the transfer of $27,489 from construction contingency for various projects at the new jail, including adding security glazing to doors, increasing the size of the gas line to allow for additional appliances in the kitchen and putting in a concrete pad for a lift that will enable jail trustees to change the tires on patrol cars.
  • Approved a revised contract with FMC to provide in-house dialysis treatment for inmates.
  • Approved a one-year extension to the existing Municipal Solid Waste Hauling and Disposal contract with Republic Services Inc.
  • Approved a mutal aid agreement between the Douglas County Fire Department and Puckett EMS.
  • Voted to accept a Victims of Crime Act competitive grant from the Georgia Criminal Justice Coordinating Council to fund one full time and two part time victim advocates.
  • Voted to name the driveway off Dorris Drive leading to the Woodie Fite Senior Center as Simeon Springer Court.
  • Approved a proclamation declaring Nov. 6, 2011 as Retired Educators Day in Douglas County.
  • Approved a proclamation declaring Nov. 6-12, 2011 as Veteran’s Week in Douglas County.

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