Rome City Commission tables assembly permit ordinance

Monday, April 8, 2024–9:11 p.m.

-David Crowder, WRGA News-

The Rome City Commission has tabled a proposed assembly permit ordinance.

Under the proposed ordinance, a permit would be required for gatherings of 25 or more people.

Commissioner Bill Collins expressed concerns about the impact on gatherings at neighborhood parks.

“On any given Saturday or Sunday, Latinos gather for birthday parties, special events, etc., and you can have as many as 35 or 50,” he said. “The other culturally insensitive situation has to do with African Americans. You might have a pickup game that draws 35 to 50 people.”

Assistant City Attorney Frank Beacham replied.

“If you don’t pass this, if one person is doing those activities, it’s an illegal assembly, because that is currently how our ordinance is written,” he said. “What this does is expand that by 25 times.”

Mayor Craig McDaniel said the purpose of the ordinance was not related to activities in neighborhood parks.

“I don’t think anybody ever thought about parks or playgrounds or recreational areas,” he said. “I think people were thinking about protests and things where there’s the potential of civil unrest. So, we started down that path and we ended up with this document.”

Commissioner Jim Bojo moved to send the ordinance back to the public safety committee for clarification.

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