Commissioners to discuss future of Non discrimination ordinance


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – City leaders first began talking about the non discrimination ordinance late last year. Now, city leaders scheduled to decide this week whether they want to move forward and talk about it or give up on it.

For some city leaders there’s been enough talk bout adopting the non discrimination ordinance.

“I think it will probably open up a can of worms that maybe we don’t need to be opened, so I’m concerned about that,” said Commissioner John Clarke.

With those concerns commissioners scheduled to vote Thursday on holding a work shop on the proposed ordinance, some believing there’s no harm in talking it out.

“I prefer us having a work session so we can insure all members of the commission understand what the policy or the ordinance is really about,” said Commissioner Dennis Williams.

The proposal says complaints of  discrimination would go to the city compliance office for investigation and potentially mediation. There would be complaints generated against private businesses.

 “That’s why we want to have the workshop and I want to hear the pros and the cons. We’ll take a look at it. I’m not saying I’m for it, I’m not against it. I just want to hear the debate on what it is we need to be doing on this,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Bobby Williams.

Some are saying they would be more comfortable if the ordinance only covered complaints against the city and not the private sector.

“You know, that’s city or public or community related not getting involved with business,” said Commissioner Dennis Williams.

Some fear the ordinance wouldn’t be used to combat real cases of discrimination.

“A platform just to have a grievance,” said Commissioner Clarke.

Now commissioners could vote to hold the work session that would not mean they approve the ordinance as written. The discussions would all them to change parts they feel uncomfortable with.

In Augusta, George Eskola WJBF NewsChannel 6.

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