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It is now official. Registered voters in the city of Cairo will vote on Sunday alcohol sales on the Nov. 5 municipal general election ballot.
The Cairo City Council voted unanimously to authorize Mayor Booker Gainor to execute a resolution calling for the referendum on Sunday alcohol sales.
City voters will be asked to vote on two questions: if package sales of malt beverages, wine and distilled spirits on Sunday between the hours of 12:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. will be allowed; and, if the sale of distilled spirits or alcoholic beverages for beverage purposes by the drink will be allowed between the hours of 11 a.m. and 11:30 p.m.
“All you are doing is putting the questions on the ballot,” city attorney Thomas L. Lehman said Monday night.
Members of the city council have been approached by owners of local restaurants and other alcoholic beverage license holders about the possibility of Sunday sales in Cairo. Currently, Sunday sales of malt beverages and wine in the unincorporated areas of Grady County are permitted, but not in the city limits of Cairo.
Councilman Jerry Cox questioned the hours used in the resolution and the city attorney said that he had used the hours stipulated in state law to make the city ordinance consistent with state law.
Lehman said this would be an interesting election cycle since a county referendum on a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax will be held on the same day. The attorney credited the work of city clerk Carolyn Lee in coordinating with Grady County election superintendent Denise Maddox and chief registrar Malinda Butler to conduct the municipal election at the Grady County Agri-Center as has been done in the past.
In addition to the two questions on Sunday alcohol sales, three city council seats are up for election.
According to Mrs. Lee, the advance voting for the municipal election will be held at the office of the Board of Registrars as well as the advance voting for the countywide SPLOST referendum.
Mayor Gainor thanked Lehman and Lee for their work on the Sunday sales resolution and upcoming election. “It is no easy task,” the mayor said.
In other business this week, the council:
Approved the special event permit applied for by Robert Rodriguez of Thomasville for the use of the baseball field at Holder Park by the Cairo Bombers baseball team. Rodriguez, who was formerly on the coaching staff of the Baltimore Orioles, said the team of 16 and younger will be practicing at Holder Park on Saturday mornings and on some afternoons during the week. Rodriguez eventually would like to host games at the city park. The Bombers took part in an exhibition in Sylvester over the weekend and the coach reported the team of local youth won one game and lost one.
Heard remarks from Barbara McDuffie-Lowe, a Bainbridge resident, who said she and others had formed a group known as “Organizing For Grady County” to encourage voter registration and combat apathy. McDuffie-Lowe said the group had recently held a town hall meeting and had invited Mayor Gainor and Councilman Demario Byrden, and now wants to have another session with all of the council present. Originally, the group had hoped to have the second town hall meeting on Sept. 3, but due to scheduling conflicts and a delay in extending invitations, the session had been postponed and would be rescheduled.
Approved a special event permit for Grady County Emergency Medical Service. Grady EMS is planning to host a health fair on Oct. 12, 2019 at Davis Park from noon until 7 p.m.
Met behind closed doors to discuss a personnel matter. No action was taken following the closed session and city manager Chris Addleton said it was for information purposes only.