Mayor Steve Tumlin immediately vetoed Goldstein’s dissent of the ordinance, which was proposed by Marietta police and asks apartment complex owners to enroll in a crime reduction program if the crime rate on their property is higher than the city average.
The ordinance passed with a 6-1 vote in June, with Goldstein opposed.
Tumlin said his veto Wednesday was the only way he could get his opinion in opposition of Goldstein’s dissent on the public record.
Goldstein said his actions were a “legislative” matter allowing him to put his opposition of the ordinance, which is now part of the city’s code, on the record. Tumlin’s response, Goldstein said after the meeting, “was not unexpected.”
The dissent filed by Goldstein and the veto filed by the mayor do nothing but make their opinions a part of the public record, Tumlin said.
Tumlin sourced city attorney Doug Haynie’s argument against Goldstein for his veto.
Goldstein said the ordinance was unconstitutional because it does not allow due process for apartment complexes and it made their cooperation with the police mandatory.
“My justification for filing the dissent is because I have serious concerns about the ordinance, based on the Constitution and federal statutes,” Goldstein said.
Goldstein said the police have no right to tell apartment complexes how to run their businesses, which are the same complaints he made when the ordinance was being discussed with the City Council last month.
The proposal is new to Cobb County, and is already used in Arizona, California and Texas.
The ordinance was denounced by Goldstein when it was first proposed because the first draft of the ordinance required apartment complexes to take part in the program to reduce crime. It was then made a voluntary program, and Haynie said it is legally sound.
Goldstein acknowledged some changes were made to the ordinance before it passed, at his request, but he said some problems remained in the document.
Haynie argued the ordinance was constitutional because police had the power to regulate crime in apartment buildings.
“I know you’re never going to agree that the city has that power, but I want this to be part of the record that the city does have that power,” Haynie said.
Tumlin agreed with Haynie’s argument the issues Goldstein had with the ordinance were the same ones he had shared before.
But, because the rest of the council voted for the ordinance and the city attorney found it legally sound, Tumlin said Goldstein had no basis to dissent.
“(Goldstein’s dissent) was meant to be a bad thing to do to discredit our police,” Tumlin said.
Tumlin said dissents are common among the council, and Goldstein has opposed city ordinances based on constitutionality in the past. Tumlin said this discredited his argument because Goldstein had been found to be wrong in the past.
Goldstein filed a dissent in opposition of the city’s adult entertainment ordinance in 1995 because he said it was unconstitutional. Haynie said he was disproven by the Georgia Supreme Court in 1996, when the court said the ordinance was legal.
Marietta Police Chief Dan Flynn said he did not want to comment on the issue because it was strictly a discussion between the council and the city attorney.
The council took another vote on Wednesday night, and it reaffirmed the validity of the ordinance with a 7-0 vote, including Goldstein, which included his dissent on the public record. No changes were made to the ordinance, and it still stands as a part of the city’s code.