Macon-Bibb Commissioners approve anti-discrimination ordinance
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Macon-Bibb Commissioners voted 5-4 Tuesday to approve a local anti-discrimination ordinance.
Commissioners Joe Allen, Valerie Wynn, Scotty Shepherd, and Mallory Jones voted against the ordinance’s passage.
The decision followed an hour-long public hearing earlier Tuesday with 10 people speaking in favor of the ordinance and 10 speaking against.
The ordinance, originally sponsored by Commissioners Larry Schlesinger, Al Tillman, Elaine Lucas and Virgil Watkins, is designed to provide civil rights protections in public places and provides a local option to deal with complaints rather than a federal one.
Georgia does not have a state anti-discrimination law.
The ordinance adopted Tuesday allows those who feel they’ve been discriminated against to file a complaint, which would then go to a mediator. If the dispute can’t be settled by the mediator, a hearing officer would take the case. The hearing officer would then decide to either throw the case out or levy a $500 civil penalty against the accused.
Commissioners adopted a similar ordinance in 2017 for county employees. The one adopted Tuesday applies to the general public.