Newsbank Archive
October 20, 2014
Citizens seek vote for Sunday alcohol sales
by Sharon Hall
Feb 08, 2012 | 5 5 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Seth and Debra Hunt, owners of Turners Corner, appeared before the Lumpkin County Board of Commissioners work session last week with a request to put the issue of Sunday sale of alcohol on the ballot. The couple brought a petition bearing the signatures of 62 locals in favor of putting the question on the ballot to present to the board.

Last year, the Georgia Legislature gave counties and cities the right to put the question on the ballot, Seth Hunt told commissioners.

“All the surrounding counties have either already passed Sunday sales or it is on the ballot,” he said. “Not having Sunday sales is a loss of tax revenue for the county and a loss of revenue for the county’s businesses, and not just in alcohol sales, but other sales as well. It may not seem like that big a deal, but if visitors can’t get what they want they will go somewhere else and spend their money.”

Both commissioners Tim Bowden and Clarence Stowers spoke against allowing it to become a ballot question.

“I think the legislature passed it on to the counties because they got weak,” said Stowers. “Chick-fil-A closes on Sunday, and it is one of the most successful businesses there is.”

Stowers also said that in reality, there is very little money in Sunday sales when it comes to sales tax.

“Even if we made $100,000 a year that would only pay for two deputies—just the deputies, not their cars or equipment. It doesn’t pay off. Personally, I don’t want my wife coming home from church and meeting a motorcycle with a drunk driver.”

“It’s a controversial issue, and there are strong feelings on both sides,” Bowden said. “But even if we do get extra sales tax from Sunday sales, and while we aren’t getting any money now, I think it’s possible and even probable that we will have more DUIs and domestic violence incidents and it would have an impact on the cost of services.”

It wasn’t only the lost sales tax, Seth said. “You need to support existing businesses. All we’re asking is that you put it on the ballot and let the people vote.”

Several pastors were also present to voice their objections to having the issue put on the ballot. Lance Fuller, pastor of Friendship Baptist Church said he understood the desire to promote business, but asked the board to “not even put it on the ballot. You don’t get the calls at night saying, ‘Pastor, my child has been killed by a drunk driver.’ There’s never enough money to bring back that child.”

Pastor Michael Rogers of Bethlehem Baptist said there were 13 or 14 independent Baptist churches in the county, and while he had not spoken with all the members of each church, he felt sure the majority of the membership would be against Sunday sales.

“Sunday is the Lord’s day, and it should be kept as a special day,” he said.

“I understand that Lumpkin County is one of the last counties in the area not to sell alcohol on Sunday,” said Pastor Mark Biddy of Harvest Baptist. “That’s one of the things that makes Lumpkin County special.” From small compromises, he warned, larger ones often come. “Not everything needs to go to a vote. You were elected to represent the people of this county, and you have the say on whether this goes on the ballot or not,” he told commissioners.

“People who are going to drink are going to drink whatever day it is,” Debra Hunt rebutted. “The city and farm wineries can sell alcohol on Sunday, but the other businesses in the county can’t. All we’re asking is that you allow the people to have a voice.”

Both BOC Chairman John Raber and Commissioner Bill Scott agreed that people have the right to vote.

Raber said that personally, he was torn. “Even my prayer group members are split on this,” he said. “But I think we should let the people vote. But I can tell you that if this commission brings it up for a vote, unless I’m wrong it will be three-to-two against putting it on the ballot.”

The next regular meeting of the BOC is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 6 p.m. You can check the county’s Web site at www.lumpkincounty.gov to see if this issue is added to the agenda. Click on “commissioners” in the left-hand menu, scroll down to “downloads” and click on meeting notebooks to see the agenda.

Comments
(5)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
KarenBMW
|
March 05, 2012
Clarence Stowers this is to you...As a motorcycle rider that doesn't drink I don't appreciate your tone about your wife being met by a drunk motorcyclist. Way to go sterotyping...I know many a church goer that drink and see them at the wineries, maybe your wife would meet them on the road someday too. Motorcyclists vote - beware.
msfrc
|
February 13, 2012
Clarence Stowers is a moron. So he thinks motorcyclists go out drinking & riding. Not saying it doesn't happen, but no one I ride with would ever do this. And another thing, if these "pastors" REALLY think most people in the county do not want Sunday sales, then why NOT put it on the ballot & be voted down? Something tells me it would be passed. You think just because you can't buy in the county on Sundays that your residents do not drink on Sunday ? ? ? Time to get real.

Stowers also said that in reality, there is very little money in Sunday sales when it comes to sales tax.

“Even if we made $100,000 a year that would only pay for two deputies—just the deputies, not their cars or equipment. It doesn’t pay off. Personally, I don’t want my wife coming home from church and meeting a motorcycle with a drunk driver.”

Jon Anderson
|
February 08, 2012
So more people will be taking their business to Cleveland Walmart, who now sells beer and wine. Those people might just buy their groceries there too while they are there. People who want to drink are going to whether or not Lumpkin sells it to them. I could care less about the tax revenue. I care about local businesses providing jobs, and sharing profits. Certain people here are holding us back. It's so depressing here. I think I'll ride up to Cleveland and get a six pack, bring it home and drink it. I might just fill up the truck, and grab some pizzas for the family while I'm there. That's 140.00 Lumpkin just lost out on.
D. Hunt
|
February 09, 2012
Couldn't agree with you more!
Thomas T.
|
February 10, 2012
"Both commissioners Tim Bowden and Clarence Stowers spoke against allowing it to become a ballot question."

I seems what they are really implying is we don't want our adult citizen to voice their opinion in a democratic way!

"I don’t want my wife coming home from church and meeting a motorcycle with a drunk driver.”

What kind of research have you done to come to this result? Or are we just shooting from the hip?

You Sir owe a appology to a huge number of taxpaying adult citizens of this county.

"But I can tell you that if this commission brings it up for a vote, unless I’m wrong it will be three-to-two against putting it on the ballot.”

They said the same when the County liquor sale was up for vote, if I remember correctly it passed 4:1 to allow sales.

Come on elected officials, threat us as adults.

Citizens seek vote for Sunday alcohol sales
by Sharon Hall
Feb 08, 2012 | 3532 views | 5 5 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Seth and Debra Hunt, owners of Turners Corner, appeared before the Lumpkin County Board of Commissioners work session last week with a request to put the issue of Sunday sale of alcohol on the ballot. The couple brought a petition bearing the signatures of 62 locals in favor of putting the question on the ballot to present to the board.

Last year, the Georgia Legislature gave counties and cities the right to put the question on the ballot, Seth Hunt told commissioners.

“All the surrounding counties have either already passed Sunday sales or it is on the ballot,” he said. “Not having Sunday sales is a loss of tax revenue for the county and a loss of revenue for the county’s businesses, and not just in alcohol sales, but other sales as well. It may not seem like that big a deal, but if visitors can’t get what they want they will go somewhere else and spend their money.”

Both commissioners Tim Bowden and Clarence Stowers spoke against allowing it to become a ballot question.

“I think the legislature passed it on to the counties because they got weak,” said Stowers. “Chick-fil-A closes on Sunday, and it is one of the most successful businesses there is.”

Stowers also said that in reality, there is very little money in Sunday sales when it comes to sales tax.

“Even if we made $100,000 a year that would only pay for two deputies—just the deputies, not their cars or equipment. It doesn’t pay off. Personally, I don’t want my wife coming home from church and meeting a motorcycle with a drunk driver.”

“It’s a controversial issue, and there are strong feelings on both sides,” Bowden said. “But even if we do get extra sales tax from Sunday sales, and while we aren’t getting any money now, I think it’s possible and even probable that we will have more DUIs and domestic violence incidents and it would have an impact on the cost of services.”

It wasn’t only the lost sales tax, Seth said. “You need to support existing businesses. All we’re asking is that you put it on the ballot and let the people vote.”

Several pastors were also present to voice their objections to having the issue put on the ballot. Lance Fuller, pastor of Friendship Baptist Church said he understood the desire to promote business, but asked the board to “not even put it on the ballot. You don’t get the calls at night saying, ‘Pastor, my child has been killed by a drunk driver.’ There’s never enough money to bring back that child.”

Pastor Michael Rogers of Bethlehem Baptist said there were 13 or 14 independent Baptist churches in the county, and while he had not spoken with all the members of each church, he felt sure the majority of the membership would be against Sunday sales.

“Sunday is the Lord’s day, and it should be kept as a special day,” he said.

“I understand that Lumpkin County is one of the last counties in the area not to sell alcohol on Sunday,” said Pastor Mark Biddy of Harvest Baptist. “That’s one of the things that makes Lumpkin County special.” From small compromises, he warned, larger ones often come. “Not everything needs to go to a vote. You were elected to represent the people of this county, and you have the say on whether this goes on the ballot or not,” he told commissioners.

“People who are going to drink are going to drink whatever day it is,” Debra Hunt rebutted. “The city and farm wineries can sell alcohol on Sunday, but the other businesses in the county can’t. All we’re asking is that you allow the people to have a voice.”

Both BOC Chairman John Raber and Commissioner Bill Scott agreed that people have the right to vote.

Raber said that personally, he was torn. “Even my prayer group members are split on this,” he said. “But I think we should let the people vote. But I can tell you that if this commission brings it up for a vote, unless I’m wrong it will be three-to-two against putting it on the ballot.”

The next regular meeting of the BOC is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 6 p.m. You can check the county’s Web site at www.lumpkincounty.gov to see if this issue is added to the agenda. Click on “commissioners” in the left-hand menu, scroll down to “downloads” and click on meeting notebooks to see the agenda.

Comments
(5)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
KarenBMW
|
March 05, 2012
Clarence Stowers this is to you...As a motorcycle rider that doesn't drink I don't appreciate your tone about your wife being met by a drunk motorcyclist. Way to go sterotyping...I know many a church goer that drink and see them at the wineries, maybe your wife would meet them on the road someday too. Motorcyclists vote - beware.
msfrc
|
February 13, 2012
Clarence Stowers is a moron. So he thinks motorcyclists go out drinking & riding. Not saying it doesn't happen, but no one I ride with would ever do this. And another thing, if these "pastors" REALLY think most people in the county do not want Sunday sales, then why NOT put it on the ballot & be voted down? Something tells me it would be passed. You think just because you can't buy in the county on Sundays that your residents do not drink on Sunday ? ? ? Time to get real.

Stowers also said that in reality, there is very little money in Sunday sales when it comes to sales tax.

“Even if we made $100,000 a year that would only pay for two deputies—just the deputies, not their cars or equipment. It doesn’t pay off. Personally, I don’t want my wife coming home from church and meeting a motorcycle with a drunk driver.”

Jon Anderson
|
February 08, 2012
So more people will be taking their business to Cleveland Walmart, who now sells beer and wine. Those people might just buy their groceries there too while they are there. People who want to drink are going to whether or not Lumpkin sells it to them. I could care less about the tax revenue. I care about local businesses providing jobs, and sharing profits. Certain people here are holding us back. It's so depressing here. I think I'll ride up to Cleveland and get a six pack, bring it home and drink it. I might just fill up the truck, and grab some pizzas for the family while I'm there. That's 140.00 Lumpkin just lost out on.
D. Hunt
|
February 09, 2012
Couldn't agree with you more!
Thomas T.
|
February 10, 2012
"Both commissioners Tim Bowden and Clarence Stowers spoke against allowing it to become a ballot question."

I seems what they are really implying is we don't want our adult citizen to voice their opinion in a democratic way!

"I don’t want my wife coming home from church and meeting a motorcycle with a drunk driver.”

What kind of research have you done to come to this result? Or are we just shooting from the hip?

You Sir owe a appology to a huge number of taxpaying adult citizens of this county.

"But I can tell you that if this commission brings it up for a vote, unless I’m wrong it will be three-to-two against putting it on the ballot.”

They said the same when the County liquor sale was up for vote, if I remember correctly it passed 4:1 to allow sales.

Come on elected officials, threat us as adults.