The city of St. Mary Board of Aldermen last Thursday passed an ordinance prohibiting golf carts and utility vehicles (UTVs), ending months of consideration on the topic and adding another chapter in a showdown between Mayor Gloria Bader and the board on the issue.
Bader is a proponent of UTV use in the city, but the board twice in the last two years has voted against allowing the recreational vehicles on city streets.
Last week, the board went a step further to clarify the city’s position with a 3-0 vote to ban their use on any “city-owned property or any city streets or alleys.”
The penalty is a fine of up to $225.
The item was on an agenda loaded with budget issues, which prompted Bader to say she wanted to table it.
“We’re going to table this here side-by-side,” Bader said. “That’s the least of my worries tonight. We’re just going to get it out of the way, because we got a lot of important stuff to cover tonight. We really have.”
But the item had been put on the agenda through the sponsorship of two aldermen.
“We’re not tabling this issue tonight,” board president Brian Helms said. “I’d like to have a first reading of the ordinance.”
Bader made a reference to the upcoming April 2 election that will see two of the current aldermen challenged, said there will be “a new board coming on” that will just prolong the issue by revisiting it, she said.
“If I table it, I think it should be tabled,” Bader said. “Shouldn’t it?”
But city clerk David Woods said since the aldermen had sponsored the item to put it on the agenda, it was a “live item.”
Helms and Alderwomen Rose Rosenzweig and Jennifer Weiss voted for the golf cart/UTV ban.
Alderman Cody Myers was absent from the meeting.
See complete story in the March 20 edition of the Herald.