It’s a no-go for golf carts: Albany city commissioners Bob Langstaff and Roger Marietta lost their bid Tuesday to try to allow the quiet and nifty energy-serving vehicles to be driven on public streets in the community’s neighborhoods.
Marietta, who represents Lake Park and other areas in Ward 4, said he’s disappointed that the city staff did not review the matter objectively.
“The thing that bugged me is the exclusive downside that was presented,” Marietta said. “No upside was presented at all.”
Marietta said he was particularly demoralized that he said appeared to be an 11th-hour collaboration between Mayor Willie Adams and the city’s Safe Communities coordinator, Michelle DeMott, to try to defeat the golf cart initiative.
Through Safe Communities and the city’s traffic engineering division, DeMott works to minimize traffic accidents in the community.
“Michelle told us that she read in the Tifton paper where the police chief is very upset and wants the City Commission to repeal their golf cart ordinance. But she didn’t provide any documentation, any information or research, at all,” Marietta said.
Unlike with other issues, City Manager Alfred Lott refused to direct his staff to provide a report on the issue. Instead, City Attorney Nathan Davis researched the matter and presented the commission with an ordinance patterned after other cities that permit the carts. The ordinance drafted by Davis would have required golf cart operators on city streets to have a driver’s license and insurance for the carts.
The matter was officially tabled at Tuesday’s City Commission meeting, but Marietta says he’s unwilling to reignite the issue – unless his constituents get to work on it.
“If people want it, they are going to have to fight for it,” he said. “I have no doubt that having golf carts is a great idea. Progressive communities have them. I tried, but I don’t have a dog in the fight.”