Voters to decide on alcohol
Published 12:00 am Friday, September 14, 2007
VIDALIA — Voters in Police Jury District 5-B will have a special election on the Nov. 17 ballot to determine whether or not alcohol sales will be permitted in the district.
The rural community of Monterey is in District 5-B.
The police jury voted to place the special election on the ballot after receiving notice from Registrar of Voters Golda Ensminger that a petition had been filed with the office requesting the election.
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The petition was filed Aug. 27.
The first signature on the petition was dated June 28, and Ensminger used that date as the starting point to determine if enough voters in the precinct had signed the petition.
A total of 426 signatures —approximately 29 percent of the voters in district at that time — signed the petition.
Thirty-six signatures were not counted because they were not determined to be genuine or did not meet the requirements under the law for how the petition should be signed, according to documents provided by Police Jury Secretary Russell Wagoner.
Voters in the special election will vote on five propositions. They include:
4Shall the sale of beverages of alcoholic content containing not more than six percent alcohol by volume be permitted by package only and not for consumption on the premises?
4Shall the sale of beverages of alcoholic content containing not more than six percent alcohol by volume for consumption on the premises be permitted?
4Shall the sale of beverage alcohol containing one-half of one percent alcohol by volume and above be permitted by package and not for consumption on the premises?
4Shall the sale of beverage alcohol containing one-half of one percent alcohol by volume and above for consumption on the premises be permitted?
4Shall the sale of beverages of high and low alcoholic content be permitted only on the premises of restaurant establishments which have been issued an “R” permit as defined by law?
Monterey resident Ray Routon, who said he signed the petition, believes the petition may confuse voters.
“I think it’s going to be confusing to the voters, voting on five different things,” Routon said.
Many of those who signed the petition may not realize that the election could also possibly eliminate the sale of wine, beer and other low alcohol-content sales in the district, Routon said.
“I have no objection to having an election for hard liquor if people understand it properly, but it was not presented to the people as possibly allowing for the elimination of Class “B” licenses.”
Class “B” licenses are for low alcohol-content per volume drinks such as beer and wine coolers, and Class “A” licenses are for high-alcohol content per volume beverages, commonly called hard liquor.
The petition came about when several local businesses applied to the police jury for Class “A” licenses, Routon said.
“Before that, no one had any objections to beer or wine cooler sales,” he said.
The petition can be reviewed at the Registrar of Voters’ office.
Place 5-B Police Juror Tommy “Red” Tiffee could not be reached for comment.