VILLA RICA, Georgia Villa Rica Mayor Gil McDougal today vetoed an action taken by the City Council during its Feb. 8, 2022, regular meeting.
The action concerned an item listed on the agenda as Amendment of PTV (golf cart) Ordinance. The council approved the item by a vote of 3 to 2.
The veto power of the Villa Rica mayor, as well as the procedures related to the veto process, is outlined in the Villa Rica City City Charter at Section 2.27.
The following is the full text of the veto statement issued by Mayor McDougal:
I, Gil McDougal, Mayor of Villa Rica, for the reasons stated below, do hereby veto action taken by the City Council to increase the maximum speed for Golf Carts/PTVs, to travel on city streets from 25 mph to 35 mph, titled Amendment of PTV Ordinance.
While I am generally in favor of maximum use of Golf Carts across Villa Rica, being a strong advocate for the East Side Connector which will connect the east side of Villa Rica to the downtown area and include a designated golf cart path, I cannot support a blanket increase of the speed limits upon which Golf Carts may travel across the city.
Whether recognized or not, this law is really not about golf carts per se, as state law defines Golf Carts as being for golf courses or getting to and from golf courses and they are limited to speeds of no more than 15mph by law.
On the other hand, Personal Transportation Vehicles (PTVs) must travel at speeds below 20mph to be legal. While OCGA 40-6-368 provides that PTVs should be limited to streets rated no greater than 25mph, there does appear to be an exception that would allow municipalities to establish their own rules found in OCGA 40-6-331.
Any PTVs out on the roadway going more than 20 mph are illegal to begin with. The State of Georgia believes that these vehicles traveling on roads with speed limits above 25 are inappropriate for their roads. Vehicles backing up behind PTVs going no faster than 20 mph on a road with 35 mph limit presents an increased hazard.
The Staff recommended against this change. The police department, charged with keeping our community and our streets safe, recommended against this change. Every citizen that spoke in public comments implored against this change. I will always stand by our police officers and the safety of our citizens.
This the 10th day of February 2022
(signed) Gil McDougal, Mayor
Article provided by The City of Villa Rica