Huntersville prepares for extraordinary events
by Staff Writer
HUNTERSVILLE – Commissioners are getting ready for the Democratic National Convention coming to Charlotte in September. The board passed an ordinance at its Monday, June 18, meeting to prevent organized protests from turning disruptive or violent.
The ordinance gives the town manager the authority to declare an extraordinary event, expanding his and police officers’ power to restrict behavior.
Deputy Police Chief Michael Kee told the board that there was credible evidence of “anarchist groups forming in the area.”
“This is one of those things where we’d rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it,” Kee said.
The new law defines an extraordinary event as “a large-scale special event of national or international significance” or one that is expected to draw a large crowd to a specified area.
The town manager can designate boundaries and time limits and require permits for an extraordinary event.
Protest signs are allowed, but attendees would not be allowed to carry any item that could be used as a weapon or projectile, items such as paint or permanent markers that could be used to deface property, or items that would allow them to escape or avoid authorities such as masks, gas masks and police scanners.
The ordinance mimics one passed by the Charlotte City Council earlier this year that worked in dealing with protesters during the Bank of America shareholders meeting last month. Davidson commissioners granted their town manager the same power June 12.
In other board news
Huntersville Family Fitness and Aquatic Center’s Dee Jetton announced a new sponsorship agreement with Presbyterian Hospital Huntersville. The hospital will donate $250,000 to kick off HFFA’s $800,000 capital drive to fund improvements and additions to the facility.
The board also approved changes to the town’s traffic ordinance aimed at preventing truckers from using public streets to store their trucks and/or trailers. The revisions prohibit on-street parking for oversized vehicles and parking in bike lanes by any vehicle. The changes also authorize the town to use a wheel lock or tow any vehicle or trailer with three or more parking tickets more than 90 days past due.