Following up on the previous morning’s opaque presentation of a proposed brown bag ordinance, in which we did at least learn it was about alcohol, a bit more information came from the county attorney in the Regular Session of 11 September 2011.
County Manager Joe Pritchard mentioned:
Mr. Chairman and Commissioners, you have handed, or were placed at your seats, a revised alcohol beverage brown bagging ordinance. There were some changes that came about, wording changes, yesterday, after our work session.
Ah, that passive voice! I guess it was the ordinance elf that made those changes and left paper copies at each Commissioner’s seat. The ordinance elf didn’t put a copy of that draft on the web where the rest of us could see it, however.
County Attorney Walter Elliott clarified:
The only changes are to sections 5b and 6b and that change clarifies that the chair of the civic and other organizations listed must be organizations that are organized and operated as nonprofit organizations and social works removed from that word. So that clarifies that events at which brown bags are allowed under that exception are events of nonprofit organizations.
Commissioners (whispering to each other first) wanted clarification that restrictions didn’t apply at private residences.
Correct. This permits brownbagging at private residences without any time limitation. It also permits brownbagging at private events held on an occasional basis, but only up to 1:55 AM, which is the time that a licensed seller may sell alcohol. And it permits brownbagging at events of charitable, civic, and other nonprofit organizations.
We didn’t get to see any version of it before they adopted it, so if citizens had concerns they didn’t have a way to see what the Comissioners were considering. One of the Commissioners said they did get questions. Such questions would be more informed if people could see what they were asking about before asking.
Someone has since posted it on the county website as Lowndes County Alcoholic Beverage Brownbagging Ordinance. It’s a scan of a paper copy, with no transcription.
Here’s the video:
Revised alcohol brown bag ordinance
Regular Session, Lowndes County Commission (LCC),
Video by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE), Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 11 September 2012.