Supes press pause on golf carts resolution

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Madison County supervisors want more time to determine whether or not they want to pursue state legislation that would give them the authority to regulate golf carts. 

State Rep. Jill Ford approached the board Tuesday night with draft legislation that would allow Madison County to create an ordinance to govern golf cart usage on county roads in neighborhoods with speed limits of 20 m.p.h. or less. 

The draft legislation stems in part from a growing group of neighborhood associations in Madison County that say golf carts have gotten out of hand and it’s only a matter of time before a child gets seriously hurt or killed. 

Back in December, representatives of several neighborhoods submitted a petition to the board asking for something to be done. Formal letters represented Ashbrooke, Grayhawk, Lake Caroline, Providence and Stillhouse Creek. 

Board attorney Mike Espy told supervisors the draft of the bill was signed off by the county’s insurance company and was crafted to offset any liability. 

District 3 Supervisor Gerald Steen raised several questions, from whether a county ordinance would supersede an existing ordinance in the city of Madison to whether or not they could pick and choose certain neighborhoods to include in an ordinance. 

District 5 Supervisor Paul Griffin said he hasn’t been contacted by any of his constituents in neighborhoods throughout his district so doing something like this might “stir them up.”

Griffin said the people in favor of this haven’t done a good job lobbying for it because nobody called him to discuss it. He then told Ford it’s the board that gives the state something and not the other way around. 

“Out of all due respect, I know this is your first term,” Griffin told Ford. “I’ve been around here a little while. A resolution comes from the board of supervisors. Board of supervisors gets it together and sends it to the state. The state don’t come asking the board of supervisors for the resolution. Sometimes when you’re new, your constituents will try to use you…”

Ford responded by saying her constituents weren’t trying to use her and that this resolution would give the county the ability later enact an ordinance if they chose to. 

“They’re not trying to use me,” she said. “I’m trying to protect these children that are illegally driving these golf carts.”

Chief Deputy Jeremy Williams told supervisors they received a lot of calls regarding golf cart back in the spring when the COVID-19 pandemic first hit and schools closed. 

“We’ve tried out best to enforce it,” he said, saying they were trying to come up with something easy that appeased all sides.

Williams said ordinance or no ordinance, it’s illegal for anyone to drive a golf cart on a street — adult or child. 

It’s unknown exactly how many golf cart citations have been issued by the Madison County Sheriff’s Department. 

Back in July, Sheriff Randy Tucker said they would begin issuing citations to people operating golf carts. 

Griffin said they just need to write more tickets. 

District 2 Supervisor Trey Baxter, whose district encompasses several subdivisions, said he wanted more time to look at the draft legislation before voting on it.

No action was taken by the board. 


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