Douglas County voters approved a referendum on Nov. 6 by a 63 percent vote in favor of allowing the board to make changes to the ordinance.
Upon its adoption, Sunday sales in Douglas County could have begun Dec. 23.
Alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption in such places as restaurants and hotels can be sold between the hours of 6 a.m. of one day and 2:55 a.m. of the next day Monday through Saturday and between the hours of 12:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. on Sunday.
Package sales, or the sale of alcoholic beverages for off-premise consumption, in such places as grocery and convenience stores, can take place between the hours of “12 a.m. Monday” and 11:55 p.m. Saturday and between the hours of 12:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. on Sunday.
During the public hearing before the 5-0 vote was taken, Douglasville resident Richard Segal, who spearheaded efforts for Sunday sales based on expected economic benefits to the county, reminded the board of their duty to follow the wishes of the people.
“We’ve already heard the public – loud and clear,” Segal said. “It is up to you to carry out the wish of the people.”
However, other speakers spoke out against the measure.
Sunday sales opponent the Rev. Steve McFall of Central Baptist Church expressed shock at the overwhelming vote in favor of Sunday sales.
He challenged the board “as leaders to put strong boundaries on alcohol sales in Douglas County” — citing it as a question of morality.
District 4 Commissioner Ann Jones Guider, the sole board member to vote against putting the referendum before the voters, said, “Although I do not like to vote for anything to do with alcohol, I am bound to do so.”
Guider expressed disappointment there had been no organized effort to defeat the ordinance.
“When churches are silent,” she said, “they [people] go with feelings and not the truth.”
District 2 Commissioner Kelly Robinson said the issue is maintaining a good quality of life and attracting new restaurants and other businesses into the county.
“We were sent here as representatives,” said Robinson.
“It is a conviction — what is in the best interest of the county.”