A kick in the pants

Por­terdale of­fi­cials are forced to change pro­posed baggy pants or­di­nance and some seemed less than pleased

The Covington News - - Front Page - AM­BER PITTMAN apittman@covnews.com

A change to the pro­posed baggy pants or­di­nance in Por­terdale has been made, and some coun­cil mem­bers seemed less than pleased at Mon­day night’s meet­ing.

Af­ter the first and sec­ond read­ing of the or­di­nance, the coun­cil was in­formed they would have to re­move the sub­sec­tion of the or­di­nance that dealt solely with baggy pants. Ini­tially the or­di­nance made it un­law­ful to wear pants more than three inches be­low the hips or ex­pose skin or un­der­gar­ments.

But af­ter hear­ing a let­ter from Por­terdale Solic­i­tor Robert Pic­care, they learned that wear­ing baggy pants was, un­der the law, con­sid­ered a form of self ex­pres­sion. To try and en­force that could re­sult in lit­i­ga­tion against the city. His sug­ges­tion? Let

other ar­eas “test the wa­ters” un­til a ju­di­cial rul­ing comes down from pre­vi­ous lit­i­ga­tion in other ar­eas be­fore try­ing to en­force sub­sec­tion. How­ever once that sub­sec­tion is re­moved, the or­di­nance be­comes just a du­pli­cate of the state’s public in­de­cency or­di­nance.

Although the first and sec­ond read­ing of the or­di­nance were ap­proved by all coun­cil mem­bers but Post 1 coun­cil­woman Anita Rainey, Mayor Ar­line Chap­man and Post 4 coun­cil­man Mike Harper weren’t pleased by the change.

“[Sub­sec­tion] G was the main in­tent of this or­di­nance,” Chap­man said. “So we’re just go­ing to pass a gen­eral in­de­cency pro­hibit­ing or­di­nance? We will not be out­law­ing saggy pants in Por­terdale? That’s what you’re telling me.”

She ques­tioned Harper’s hap­pi­ness with the change.

“No I’m not happy, but there’s noth­ing I can do,” he said. The coun­cil could vote on the or­di­nance at April 2 meet­ing.

Rachel Goff / The Cov­ing­ton News

Por­terdale of­fi­cials re­cently learned that wear­ing baggy pants was, un­der Ge­or­gia law, a form of self-ex­pres­sion.

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