Tucker city council discusses non-discrimination ordinance at length

City of Tucker Mayor Frank Auman attends the groundbreaking for a $260 million expansion of the PepsiCo Beverages North America manufacturing facility at 1644 Rock Mountain Boulevard on Wednesday, August 10, 2022. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Tucker, GA — At the Tucker city council’s work session on Sept. 26, the meeting was dominated by a presentation by the city’s non-discrimination ordinance working group and a lengthy discussion which followed.

A push for a non-discrimination ordinance became an issue in the mayor’s race in 2021. At that time, Mayor Frank Auman stated opposition to an NDO because of potential “unintended consequences” and litigation, but introduced a non-binding inclusion resolution at the city council’s regular meeting in October 2021. The resolution passed unanimously.

However, the resolution was criticized by Tucker Open Door, an organization which has pushed for an NDO, as unenforceable.

A non-discrimination ordinance working group was formed in April of this year, and presented recommendations to the council on Monday.

During the work session discussion, Auman reiterated his concern about unintended consequences, and asked detailed questions about a number of different possible scenarios, everything from religious exemptions to preferred pronouns. Close to the end of the meeting just short of midnight, Auman said, “This is law. When someone has a claim and wants to avail themselves of the law, the law needs to be clear and specific and cover all of these eventualities. That’s what makes it hard.”

Auman also stated that he would prefer that the community enforce its standards of fairness in a more informal way. “I get the intent, and I wish the world would just come together and be as one,” said Auman. “We’re saying in effect, we don’t trust the world to do that, we don’t trust our community to do that, and so we’re going to pass a law with teeth to punish people and insist on corrective action.”

The Tucker city council also held a special called meeting preceding their regular work session.  At that meeting, the council  unanimously approved a contract with Heath and Lineback for design of the Tucker-Northlake trail, and also unanimously approved an ordinance to amend alcohol ordinances to allow caterers to serve alcohol independently of venue.

During the regular work session, KB Advisory group offered a presentation on their work to create Tucker’s first economic development strategic plan. The project is in its initial stages and will include plans for economic policies, investments, and development over the next five years.

Barge Design Solutions presented multiple possible designs for a town green which will be built on the site of the Cofer storage building, which was recently acquired by the city. A stage, play areas, and event accommodations were all discussed in different configurations.

In other news, the city council also discussed adoption of a calendar that includes all Federal holidays, including Juneteenth to be celebrated June 19 of next year, plus Christmas Eve and the day after Thanksgiving.

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