Statham City Council is expected to pass two ordinances at its Tuesday meeting that will provide for more control over the city’s records and meetings.
Council waived first readings on the ordinances at a called meeting Thursday night.
Both will be on the agenda for the 7 p.m. meeting.
One will deal with open records and the second will give the mayor authority to declare a “disruption of public meetings.”
City attorney Thomas Mitchell told council the “disruption” section of the ordinance “would strengthen the mayor’s hand in regard to stopping disruption in a public meeting.”
The city has had a number of sessions in the past several months that have included people who spoke over council members or who used incendiary language.
A council member, Perry Barton, and a woman in the audience, Kendra Moore, exchanged loud words at Thursday’s work session.
Barton repeated in loud tones, “Let me finish,” when Moore interrupted him. Barton was offering his version of council’s “approval” of a transfer station in May 2015. He insisted, “She (Moore) has done this to us for two years” when he loudly demanded she be quiet and let him finish.
Moore earlier chastised council for its May 2015 vote, declaring it was hurried and should have included environmental studies before being approved.
Mitchell also told council that the open records requests have gone to multiple people in the city and “have become almost unmanageable.”
The city has had multiple records requests in connection with arrests made by police officer Marc Lofton. Opponents of Lofton have appeared before council multiple times and have complained about his arrests to District Attorney Brad Smith, among others.
Another contentious issue Thursday was the continuing request from Roll-Off Systems to construct a transfer station on land it has bought in the Statham Industrial Park.
Several speakers asked about permits being issued to the company – and referred to at least two letters in recent days about the issue.
“We will not be issuing a permit until told to by a (judge),” Mayor Robert Bridges said.
He later added, during continued complaints, “I done promised you that we’re not going to issue no permit. I don’t know what more you want.”
See coverage of Tuesday's council meeting in the Jan. 18 issue of the Barrow News-Journal.
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