While we sympathize with Mayor Bob Young and five Augusta commissioners who provided the votes for passage of a controversial home-size ordinance, we think that, in this case, City Attorney Jim Wall and dissenting Commission member (and attorney) Steve Shepard may be right.
Wall's legal opinion is that the ordinance, which bars the city from accepting street or utility work in subdivisions with houses smaller than those in adjacent developments, is unconstitutional.
But, as Shepard laments, it is now the law and must be upheld "until the courts tell us differently."
That's the disturbing part. Have the mayor and Commissioners J.B. Powell, Willie Mays, Henry Brigham, Richard Colclough and Lee Beard maneuvered Augusta into a position where taxpayer money will later be wasted in fighting a hopeless court cause? They might have had better luck prevailing upon local state legislators to get the General Assembly to change state law, rather than risk a potentially costly court fight armed only with their own non-legal interpretation.
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