Editor’s Notes
John Schaffner

Over the years of covering news in Atlanta, I have always realized that City Councilman C. T. Martin is not afraid to speak his mind and he is not afraid be at the center of a controversy.

I also know he has a profound concern for his fellow African-Americans, especially youthful ones that he hopes will follow a course toward a successful future and not a stint in jail.

Martin’s latest cause is to stop the youth of Atlanta from walking around town with their pants falling off their waists and body parts below—exposing their boxer underwear or maybe something even worse to look at.

So, Martin has introduced an ordinance at City Council to make illegal exposing boxer shorts, thongs and even bra straps in any public place in Atlanta.

The ordinance of Councilman Martin states that saggy pants are an “epidemic” that are becoming a “major concern” in cities and states around the country.

Martin claims little children see it and want to adopt it, “thinking it’s the in thing. I don’t want young people thinking that half-dressing is the way to go. I want them to think about their future,” he states.

The ordinance immediately drew the cries from some of being just another form of racially profiling black people. Others claimed wearing the pants this way is simply a fashion statement and fads and fashion cannot be legislated by government. It is attacking people’s freedom of expression.

Martin doesn’t seek to throw people in jail for violating his ordinance, but he does propose the penalty be a fine, which would have to be determined.

In fact, the main purpose of Martin’s ordinance at this time is to initiate a public forum to discuss the issue and try and find a solution to what he describes as a problem.

Well, he is getting his forum. The ordinance already had one airing before the City Council’s Public Safety Committee on Aug. 28. On Wednesday night, Sept.5, a legislative task force held its inaugural meeting as it began deliberating the proposed ordinance.

There are very big questions as to whether such an ordinance could pass a court review, but it refreshing to this old man that someone has the courage to question whether actions such as these are good for our society or not and whether or not they belong as restrictions within public decency, or is it indecency, laws.

I for one applaud Martin for his actions. He already has been interviewed on the national Today Show and others about the ordinance and so he is doing what he said he wanted all along: to start a dialogue about it.

If you have to constantly grab onto of your pants to keep them from falling off while you walk down the street, I say it is time to buy a belt or a pair of suspenders. We do remember what those are, don’t we?

Condo cruelty

If what I am hearing is correct, it appears as if the four women who own, but haven’t been able to enjoy, condos at the Arborgate condominiums on Biscayne Drive in Buckhead may finally be nearing a point of getting repairs done so that they can live in the units they are paying for.

We have written several news stories about the travails of these four women—two of which can’t occupy their units in building B-120 at all and two of which are living only on the second floor of their units. However, we have refrained from doing any commentary on their plight.

However, these women have not only been making mortgage payments, but also have been paying condo association fees for almost two years while the condo association has ignored the structural problems of their units caused by a water main break.

The city of Atlanta had to take the association and condo management company to court to force them into making necessary repairs on the four units.

The women have sued the condo association and management and there have been counter suits. In fact, in one counter suit, the condo association is threatening to foreclose on one of the women’s units, claiming she missed a condo association dues payment.

I thought the condo association was supposed to represent ALL of its members, including those who have a grievance and are supposed to see that repairs to units are made rapidly and correctly. I guess that is not so with the Arborgate condo association.

(I am getting ready to move into a condo in Buckhead. I hope my association doesn’t treat its members this way.)

Well, at least the last word I had is that the city may be about to issue a building permit that will allow at least the repairs to be made to the foundation of the units, so that they will cease sinking and causing cracked walls and other structural problems.

I wish the four women good luck. But, as members of the condo association, they also will be helping to pay for their own repairs. It just isn’t fair.