Baggy pants opponent pitches brief plea to city

By JOHN A. WINTERS john@newnan.com A citizen's request for a "baggy pants" ordinance was received as information, but the Newnan City Council did not take any official action at its Tuesday meeting. The request for the ordinance was made by Eric Quick Sr., who moved to the area about a year ago from Philadelphia. He spoke on the same subject to the Coweta County Board of Commissioners at its last meeting.
"I don't see baggy pants as being a plus," Quick said. "I understand it's a way of expressing yourself, but what are you saying? "As far as the benefits of pulling up your pants ... it's gaining decency and respect," he added. Quick asked the council to consider an ordinance banning pants or skirts from being worn 3 inches below the hips. Albany, Rome, Dublin and a handful of other Georgia cities have passed similar measures. An Atlanta councilman also has introduced a similar bill, Quick said. Clarence Bohannon, interim president of United We Stand, a local community group that works with youth, said he's concerned such a bill could lead to profiling. "We want it to be done right or not at all," he said. "We want it to be fair and across the board." A similar ordinance in Albany, Ga., went into effect Nov. 23, 2010, and since that time the city has issued 187 citations and collected almost $4,000, according to Quick. Also Tuesday, the city council approved an amendment request from the city's Downtown Development Authority to expand the agency's boundary. The expansion basically includes the old Newnan Hospital area. The boundaries for the addition are roughly Elm Street to the north, Clark Street to the south, Carmichael Street to the west and Jackson Street to the east, said Hasco Craver IV, business development director for the city. The authority's primary role is to work on redevelopment within specific areas of the city. Council also voted -- on a split vote -- to accept a $1.275 million grant from the Department of Community Affairs. The money is for the Neighborhood Stabilization Program 3, which helps provide affordable home ownership opportunities for low-income families. The grant originally was for about $700,000, but the city got an additional $500,000 when other neighboring communities dropped out. At issue was whether the Newnan-Coweta Habitat for Humanity could be considered as a sub-designee to receive some of the additional funding as it requested at Tuesday's meeting. City Attorney Brad Sears said it was possible, but the city would have to re-submit the application to include Habitat. That seemed to be the sticking point as the city only has a few days to approve the existing grant and there was concern a resubmitted grant may not be approved. The Housing Authority of Newnan and city council entered into a Memorandum of Understanding at a March 8 council meeting to submit an application for the funds. The Community Affairs department approved the request on Sept. 28. Among other items, council: • Approved a request from White Oak Golden K - Kiwanis Club to set up a kiosk on the sidewalk near the old courthouse for its annual pecan sale. Dates will be Friday and Saturday, beginning Nov. 4 through Nov. 12, and Sunday, Nov. 13, in the afternoon. • Approved a request from the Newnan Junior Service League for a collection point on the downtown square for its annual Can-A-Thon. The date is Nov. 29, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. • Approved a request from the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society for a six-month extension on taking possession of two Clark Street properties. The group said it is trying to complete renovation of the McRitchie-Hollis Furnishings Museum that they hope to complete within six months. The museum is in the historic Peniston-Thomasson home at the corner of Jackson and Clark streets, which served for some years as administrative offices for Newnan Hospital.


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