Gas carts: Rights trump smells


Mayor Haddix, I supported your election, but now wonder who I supported. In your article on Wednesday, 12/8, you opine about a variety of subjects, notably gas powered golf carts.

Recently I was in a spirited debate in this paper that ended up in the theater of the absurd. It started when I wrote to support the rights of those who have gas powered golf carts, despite my own loathing of the disgusting choice (noise, carbon emission and sometimes smells vs. quiet, little or no carbon and fresh air).

The issue seems clear. You nor the City Council should even consider taking a position that puts even a very small number of our citizens’ freedom of choice at risk.

These people purchased gas powered carts, you want to force them to get rid of them at the cost of an electric cart. You say that 10 years should be enough time? I still drive a golf cart that was built in 1987. It’s much less expensive to maintain and repair mine than buy a new one, thank you very much.

You comment that the “noisy, extremely offensive smelling … admitted to by some gas cart owners …” is reason enough to ban them. Really? I don’t even think that EVERY gas powered cart has those qualities. Sure some do, but not most.

Finally, and apparently your trump card, you state that the inability to inspect or require emission testing has led to (it appears from your comments) droves of these offensive vehicles on our path system.

Last data I saw showed very few of these even exist here — around 200. Mayor, please listen. This issue is one of rights. That is, the rights of our neighbors to choose these obnoxious vehicles legally. That is, the lack of the rights of you or our City Council to outlaw them after the fact, guised in the so-called “facts” of large numbers of smelly, noisy things. Neither, sir, are facts.

The fact is, IF you have the right to declare these illegal, then by logic you should have the right to write laws requiring inspection and standards with respect to noise and obnoxious smells.

It’s time our elected local officials dropped this idea and moved on to more important matters. Or, this year’s national and state elections could be a harbinger of things to come — provided the rest of PTC recognize your poorly argued point for what it is, a blatant disregard for our rights, regardless of party.

And, again, for the record I can’t stand the things. But, I’ll defend those who legally purchased them. The slope you propose is slippery indeed.

Rick Sanderson

Peachtree City, Ga.