Moved to Tuesday night because of a prior scheduling change, this week’s Fayette County Board of Commissioners meeting went smoothly, even as the May 24 primary looms.
Chairman Charles Oddo clarified a topic that came up at the previous meeting, noting that a policy already in place allows candidates for office to speak during the public comment portion of meetings with a brief announcement of who they are and what position they are running for, but not to campaign from the podium. Candidates would still be invited to speak on any item on the agenda, along with anyone in the audience, as usual.
The lone item of new business on the agenda involved discussion about a possible change in the ordinance related to discharging firearms. Commissioner Randy Ognio said he had been approached by a citizen who wanted to do target practice on his property. Current ordinance states that the property must be at least 25 acres, and the change would have dropped that requirement to 10 acres or more.
Two community members, including the owner of an adjacent property, asked commission to deny the change, citing a number of reasons, including the time of day the guns are shot, the potential decrease of home values, and safety concerns.
“I don’t even want to touch it. I’m not in favor of it at all,” said Commissioner Charles Rousseau. “It starts opening up too many questions for me for safety reasons.”
Oddo, himself a gun owner, also was uneasy about the change.
“I’m just not comfortable yet,” said Oddo, adding that he had not heard of any problems with the 25-acre requirement. “I just think what we have seems to be working.”
The motion failed 2-3, Ognio and Steve Brown in favor, Oddo, Rousseau, and Barlow in opposition.
Earlier in the meeting, Doug Hooker, Executive Director of the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC), delivered a presentation on how Fayette County benefits from the ARC, including touching on the projected population growth (see story on page two).