Statham city council adopted two provisions in its ordinances Tuesday night that will make requests for records and to speak at council more formal.
Votes to pass the two were unanimous and came at the beginning of the meeting.
City Attorney Thomas Mitchell told the council it could pass the ordinances and have them take effect immediately as an “emergency” provision.
Council had waived the first reading and introduced the ordinance changes at a called meeting Thursday after its work session.
The ordinance establishing a “disruption of public meetings” includes language in its introduction about “disruptions in the last two regularly scheduled meetings.”
The change will allow the city to charge anyone found to cause a disruption.
It also defines the disruption by anyone who enters a city meeting “with the intent to disrupt the orderly conduct of the official business of the city.”
At the end of Tuesday’s meeting, five people spoke about the DUI arrests made by officer Marc Lofton.
Nearly all of those also spoke at earlier meetings.
The speakers called for firing Lofton, and some included firing chief Allan Johnston in their demands.
Kelly Pickens, one of the organizers of opponents of Lofton, said the council and city “will be sued” if action is not taken.
Mary Williams said, “My charges were all dismissed on Friday, Jan. 13” in Barrow County Superior Court.
Johnston said Lofton had been subpoenaed for Williams’ case for Jan. 23, not Jan. 13.
Adam Carpenter said his charges were dismissed after testing for drugs and alcohol was negative for him.
He said he was arrested at 7 a.m. on the way to work.
“It was obvious to me that (Lofton) didn’t know what he was doing or something was going on.”
The speakers referred to a letter written by Charles Spahos, executive director of the Prosecuting Attorneys Council, to Brad Smith, district attorney for Barrow County, which said there were “significant errors” in several of the arrests.
He said Lofton “does not have the training required to regularly make effective DUI cases involving prescription drugs.”
Johnston, who spoke after Lofton’ opponents, defended the officer and his training.
He said he did not know what the errors are that Spahos referred to, but “I’m going to find out.”
He also said Lofton had passed the standardized field sobriety testing course, in which Spahos recommended he take “refresher training.” He also said Lofton had passed the advance roadside impaired driving enforcement class “with flying colors” Tuesday.
Lofton had been scheduled to take the ARIDE training earlier, but scheduling conflicts caused that to be changed.
A number of Lofton’s opponents wore white T-shirts with “fire Marc Lofton” on the back.
More than 40 people attended Tuesday’s council meeting.
About half stood around the sides or sat at the table in the rear of the room.
In other business, council:
•Set the qualifying fees for three council seats that will be on the ballot for the November election. The fee will be $180, 3 percent of the annual $6,000 council salary.
•Approved Mai Chang, the city clerk, to be the city election superintendent and absentee ballot clerk.
•Approved on first reading the annexation of the Glenn Jackson estate. Randy Gordon, zoning administrator, explained about 14 or 15 acres will be annexed. The remainder already is in the city. A subdivision is being planned for that area, he said. Greg Stevens is the developer and plans are being made for the development, including where sewer lines need to go.
•Approved issuing alcohol licenses for two business. Maya’s Business Inc., also known as Kenny’s Food Mart, got a license for beer and wine package sales. Another license for on premise consumption of beer and wine was approved for Daniel Lee’s Hometown Bar. It carries a condition. Results from a fingerprint check for him are not back yet, and the license is dependent on that being “clean.”
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