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Sunday liquor sales in stores, restaurants outside cities to be on Nov. 6 ballot in Douglas County
by Liz Marino
lmarino@neighbornewspapers.com
August 15, 2012 11:21 AM | 1054 views | 0 0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Douglas County Board of Commissioners voted 4-1 last week to allow voters to decide whether to allow alcohol sales in unincorporated parts of the county on Sundays.

The two referendums concerning Sunday alcohol sales will be on the Nov. 6 ballot.

If approved by voters, the first referendum will allow the Sunday sale of package malt beverages and wine between the hours of 12:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. at retail stores.

The second referendum, if approved, will allow Sunday sales of distilled spirits or alcoholic beverage by the drink in restaurants.

District 4 Commissioner Ann Jones-Guider cast the dissenting vote. She also spoke out against allowing the vote.

“The State Legislature chose to pass this decision down to the local level, giving them the option to put this to a public vote,” she said, “mainly because it is such a hot issue. They didn’t want to address it.

“Our country is founded on representative government, whereby duly elected officials are to decide on issues brought before them based on what is best for the general public and the community as a whole,” she said.

The other commissioners spoke in favor of giving residents the right to decide.

District 3 Commissioner Mike Mulcare echoed the position of the majority when he said, “I do not consider it my place to deny Douglas County voters the right to decide for themselves.”

He said he had seen “an eroding of personal freedom in the county” and said the state did a “positive thing by allowing it to be decided by the voters.”

District 2 Commissioner Kelly Robinson expressed similar sentiments by stating that the Board of Commissioners cannot legislate personal responsibility.

“I trust the citizens to make good decisions,” said Robinson. “You get to make the call. You have to use your own moral compass.”

Two additional views were cited during public comment.

Richard Segal, an active supporter of bringing the Sunday sales to a vote, told the commissioners, “The two Sunday sales agenda items before you today have absolutely nothing to do with my own, or your own, personal opinion about the matter. The two items that you will take action on today are about whether or not the citizens of the county will be allowed to have our voices heard on this matter.”

Tamikis Williams, of Cobb-Douglas Public Health, expressed her concern about the effect on youth the referendum might have due to increased access.

“If we think about allowing a vote for Sunday sales, we also need to think about those who cannot vote. That’s our underage youth in Douglas County.”

She said, “With any increase in alcohol access for adults, there is always a negative consequence for our youth.”

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