On May 25th the Culver Town Council conducted a special meeting concerning a violation of the town’s Golf Cart Ordinance.  Clerk-Treasurer Karen Heim swore in those who spoke during the hearing.

Culver Police Officer Alex Zerbee explained the violation to the council.  He was in the coffee shop with Chief Wayne Beam and City Council President Bill Cleavenger for the shift meeting when Mr. Clevenger pointed out the golf cart violation.  Officer Zerbee looked out the window and saw a female passenger in a golf cart holding a little girl on her lap.  After getting into his patrol vehicle and conducting a traffic stop in front of the elementary school, the officer explained the violation and the 4150 ticket written in April to the violator, Josh, and Hannah Croy.

Josh Croy told the Culver Town Council, “The part that bothers us is the decision-making power that Officer Zerbee had when he’s in the room with two superiors and his ability to judge whether the situation is warranted of pulling us over and giving us a citation when he’s in the presence of his superior officer and the town council president as it was said.”  Croy said he felt it was an undue influence. He said the officer was polite and informed them of the violation that was committed in front of the town council president and that played a factor in the stop.”

While Mr. Croy came to the meeting prepared to talk about the ordinance, Mr. West said the ordinance wouldn’t be a topic of discussion.   Josh told the town council, “I feel that it’s might right as a father and my right as a parent to do what’s best to keep my family safe and I refuse to be punished for that.”  He said the way the ordinance reads; they would be required to put their daughter in an unsafe situation. 

Councilman Bill Hamm said he would like to revisit the current ordinance and Officer Zerbee said he’s not a fan of having children on golf carts at all.  His opinion is that 36 inches in Culver’s ordinance is too small for a child.  The officer also said rules and regulations are presented when citizens get their tags and if they let someone use their cart, they don’t know the town’s rules.

Councilman Rich West presided over the hearing since council president Bill Cleaverger was involved in the situation.  Mr. West said there are three questions to consider, does the ordinance exist and was there a violation, how readily available is the ordinance information to the public, and finally does the punishment fit the crime?     

Through observation and admission, the violation did occur.  The ordinance is available on the town’s website.  The ordinance calls for a 1st violation of a fine of $150.

Based upon the circumstances the Culver Town Council the fine was reduced by 50% to $75.