Vote for expanded emergency powers delayed due to Tybee Island councilmember’s absence

Published: Jun. 8, 2023 at 10:55 PM EDT
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TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WTOC) - A vote from Tybee Island’s city council on whether to ask state lawmakers for expanded emergency powers during unpermitted events has been delayed.

Tybee’s city council will have to wait until June 22nd to vote on an expanded emergency powers ask to state lawmakers.

The resolution would ask the local statehouse delegation to sponsor a bill that would give Tybee officials the power to better prepare for unpermitted events and implement harsher penalties for participants who violate local laws.

The absence of councilmember Jay Burke forced the vote to be delayed after Mayor Shirley Sessions says state lawmakers would only sponsor a bill if Tybee’s city council gave unanimous approval.

“That was one of the conditions of them passing it and sponsoring it, that it had to be a unanimous vote,” said Mayor Sessions.

The proposed resolution comes after the unpermitted beach bash Orange Crush sent Tybee into gridlock in April.

Now, another pop-up party called “Turnt Island” is circulating on social media scheduled for Tybee the weekend before July 4th.

“We cannot allow a non-permitted, pop-up event promoter to think that they’re going to get away with bringing and literally taking Tybee hostage. That’s exactly what happened on Orange Crush,” said Mayor Sessions.

Even before the vote was delayed, councilmember Nancy DeVetter voiced hesitation.

“You’re talking about capacity. I think that’s the main issue. I don’t see how this law changes our capacity at all. What we’re planning already for July 4th seems to be what we should’ve done for the original Orange Crush weekend,” said DeVetter.

Tybee’s city council is set to take up the measure again during its June 22nd meeting.

As for “Turnt Island”, council passed a resolution authorizing city officials to prepare traffic plans, communicate with other local law enforcement agencies, and give notice to any attendees that they can be subject to any applicable criminal penalties.