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Commissioners could call for vote on Sunday alcohol sales

Grady County voters could have the chance to vote on making it legal for alcoholic beverages to be sold here on Sundays if county commissioners agree to put the question on a referendum ballot.
Former Libertarian gubernatorial candidate and Grady County resident John Monds appeared before the Grady County Commission Tuesday to request commissioners put Sunday alcohol sales up for a vote this year.
Monds had previously requested the county put the question out to voters after a state law giving local communities the right to vote on the issue was passed in 2011.
“In 2012 I asked that it be put on the ballot and I was told then there was not enough time to get it on the ballot. I’m bringing it back to your attention today in hopes of getting it on the ballot this year. It is an opportunity to see what people want to do. People should be able to determine on their own whether they purchase alcohol on Sunday or not,” Monds said.
He noted that those who do not drink would continue to have the right not to purchase alcoholic beverages on Sunday, but he said those citizens who do drink should have the opportunity to purchase alcohol on Sundays if they so choose.
According to Monds, the vast majority of referendums held in Georgia concerning Sunday sales have passed.
“It’s up to you to allow this to go forward. It’s early enough in the year for you to get feed back and determine if you want to put it on a referendum and have time to get it on the ballot,” Monds said.
Commissioner Billy Poitevint said that Monds lives in his district and had contacted him about putting the Sunday sales question to a vote.
“He knows my feelings. I’m not in favor of it, but he has the right to be here to say what he wants to say,” Poitevint said.
Vice Chairman LaFaye Copeland said she was not elected to serve as a judge of whether people should drink or not. “I think it is only fair to let the people vote and decide. Whether I support it or not, this is not personal. We should let the voters decide and in order to make that possible, it has to go to a referendum,” she said.
The vice chairman voiced her support to put the question on the ballot as soon as possible.
“People are going to buy it regardless. If we can get some revenue off of it, we need to get it,” Vice Chairman Copeland said.
She also told the other members of the board that supporting the placement of the question on the ballot did not equal support for Sunday sales. “You can support putting this on a referendum and still vote against it when the time comes,” the vice chairman said.
“Personally, I don’t have a problem of it going on the ballot,” Copeland said.
“I’m sure you all have constituents who fall on both sides of the issue. This allows you, as well as others, to have a voice,” Monds said.
Probate Judge Denise Maddox said the question could likely be put on the November general election ballot if the board of commissioners called for the referendum.
No action was taken Tuesday, but Commission Chairman T.D. David said the board would vote whether or not to call for the election at the board’s next meeting on March 18.

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