AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – “We’re not even asking for the guest to be arrested for the theft of services which it really is we just want them removed from the premises and told that if they come back it’ll be trespassing,” said Andy Sharma, Hotel owner.
Hotel owners across Augusta spoke to commissioners Thursday about guests who stay too long and don’t pay.
“It just simply boils down to bringing law and order back in and when we have situation where a guest doesn’t pay we’d like to just get back to where that’s classified as thief of services and not an eviction process,” said Andy Sharma, Hotel owner.
Richmond County Sheriff’s Office plays a big role in this ordinance because they’d have to remove a guest.
“So I don’t expect us to do anything at this particular point but what I think we should do is have that robust conversation with the sheriff and come together and see if that’s something he will respond to,” said Alvin Mason, District 4.
“We’ve had a different representative from the sheriff’s office every time we’ve done this we’ve asked begged to meet with the sheriff collectively,” said Sharma.
Commissioners are making sure everyone is on the same page.
“They absolutely have valid issue but the question who’s responsible for that issue because they’ve got to take some responsibility too for instance what I’m saying is you allow someone to stay and I heard someone say they do this repeatedly so that means you’re letting them come back and come back again” said Alvin Mason, District 4.
Sharma says his family has owned multiple hotels in the area, and homelessness could result from this issue.
“I thing partly It is and I think times have changed. People have changed and it’s just the world we live in, unfortunately.” said Andy Sharma.