Editorials

Golf cart: the ordinance 2016.04.07

Golf Cart Ordinance

At City Hall on Monday April 11 at 7:30 p.m. the Morenci City Council will be conducting a public hearing regarding an addition to Chapter 20 of the Morenci Code of Ordinances to allow the use of golf carts in the city during special events only. 

At the council’s request, we were provided with two proposed ordinances for consideration relating to golf cart usage on city streets: one for year-round usage and one for special event only usage. Both require golf carts to be operated per the Motor Vehicle Code of the State of Michigan therefore addressing the safety concerns often raised. Both require the golf cart to be registered with the Morenci Police Department either through a registration form or through the Morenci City Council approving an organization to allow golf carts with events. Both describe what a “golf cart” is. And lastly, both have a sunset provision.

I have personally received an immense amount of feedback on this subject matter, both positive and negative, as is expected and welcomed. Communications in person, by phone call, by e-mail, by social media and by letter.

I would like to clarify two common questions in many of the communications:

• Council is not considering allowing ORVs and ATVs on city streets with either ordinance. These were addressed some time ago. Only golf carts specifically are in the proposed ordinances. 

• The special event ordinance does not prevent golf carts from operating throughout the city during the event. Example: during car show events, golf carts could be operated anywhere in the city and not just downtown. The proposed ordinance does not specify a specific area for usage; rather they can be operated on city streets. 

The overwhelming majority of citizens communicating with me have supported the year-round usage being adopted. The main theme was that the year-round safe usage of golf carts in the city would promote commerce in Morenci. Whether individuals are using the golf carts as an economical form of transportation, using as to attend events, entering the city from the campground to purchase items at the convenience and grocery stores, or using the privilege to just tour the city and visit with neighbors, the results will be that it is attracting and keeping people in Morenci and increasing them frequenting our local merchants while building a safe sense of community. 

At the March 28 Morenci City Council Meeting, the council by majority vote (5-2) chose to bring to a public hearing the proposed special event ordinance rather than the proposed year-round ordinance. 

Whether you are for or against either proposed ordinance, I cordially invite you to the Morenci City Council Meeting on April 11 at 7:30 p.m. to let your voice be heard by council.  

Thank you for your time and I hope to see you in attendance.

– Jeffrey D. Bell

Mayor of Morenci