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Council Overrides Mayor's Vetoes on Sunday Sales Vote, Pouring Hours

The Douglasville City Council voted unanimously to allow citizens to vote on Sunday sales and voted five-to-two allowing restaurants to pour alcohol three hours longer during the week.

The voted unanimously, during their Monday night meeting, to allow citizens to vote for or against Sunday sales on a Nov. 6 ballot referendum. The Council also voted five-to-two to allow restaurants to serve alcohol until 2 a.m. Sunday. Sunday pouring hours will also be extended from 10:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. The two votes overrode two vetoes made by Mayor Harvey Persons last week.

Those who voted to override the Mayor's veto on extended pouring hours were the same Council members who originally voted for the measure: Larry Yockey, Carl Pope, Samuel Davis, LaShun Burr-Danley and Doug Lequire. Those voting against were: Council members Dennis McLain and Mark Adams.

The Council's vote remained the same despite the fact that many people from the overcrowded Council chamber addressed the Council, urging them to change their vote.

Lequire addressed the Council after the meeting, saying inside the Council Chamber there was an overwhelming majority of people who opposed the alcohol measures but the opposite was true outside of the chamber.

"They were successful in creating this to be a religious issue because there were mostly pastors who were developing this thing and most people were intimidated by that," he said. "They didn't want to stand up. They were afraid it would sound like they were for alcoholics. Only a few brave souls got up and spoke at all. But outside, there was a tremendous amount of support to do this."

Both owner Neil Jenkins and owner John Freer said their two restaurants would take advantage of the new pouring hours, and stay open later, on the first day it was allowed, which will be this Saturday, May 26.

City Manager Bill Osborne confirmed that the law will go into effect immediately.

Rick Acree May 22, 2012 at 06:00 AM
At last the council has shown the Mayor that Central Baptist Church doesn't run Douglasville.
Mike May 22, 2012 at 06:35 AM
This is a sad world when a man follows his convictions and people want to slam a church. I guess their booze is more important than human life.
T May 22, 2012 at 11:42 AM
The Mayor is serving "the People" , not his personal convictions. Thanks to all Council members showing their integrity to serve. Win or lose, you ALLOWED the people to decide. God Bless America
LeeR May 22, 2012 at 12:40 PM
In 1797, President John Adams submitted to the US Senate a treaty of peace and friendship between the United States and Tripoli, the Treaty of Tripoli. It received unanimous ratification by the Senate on June 7, 1797 and was signed into law by Adams. It was a standard diplomatic agreement and included the clause, “As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,”. While the founders were religious people, they learned a thing or two about how the Church of England wanted to run their lives. As to this right to vote issue. Roger Williams, Republican-Dalton, who handled Senate Bill 10 in the chamber said, "This is about fairness. It's not about religion, it's not about drinking," In the political climate of today, when so many citizens feel their rights are fading away, Governor Deal and the Republican led legislature offered voters of Georgia a chance to vote on a hot button issue. This was not a zoning issue, nor where to place a stop sign or set a speed limit. The state legislature along with the Governor’s signature charged Georgia voters with deciding this issue. Thanks City Council.
Bob Sagoes May 22, 2012 at 12:40 PM
It is about the vote, people. This is when we the People get our say in what we want. He was voted in to run Douglasville, not my life, when I can and can't do what I want. Read the bible, there places in it where it tell you it's OK to drink. The place where old Harvey, is Prov 31:6-10 Somewhere in the mix they all for get that Jesus drank a little wine. I'm not talking about grape juice here. Yes I do go to church every Sunday, so don't go there with me. We the people finally get our say.
Virginia D May 22, 2012 at 01:16 PM
I appreciate that the mayor was doing what he felt was right, but on an issue as controversial as this there needs to be a vote. Also, a lot of the churches around here have been encouraging a "sheep" mentality amongst their congregation that needs to be stamped out. If the majority of people vote down the measure, I will accept that. But I won't stand for being denied the chance to decide for myself what is right and wrong for my community.
Shannon May 22, 2012 at 01:19 PM
"Many of the approximately 100 residents who attended Tuesday night's City Council work session meeting were in favor of Mayor Harvey Person's veto of two alcohol measures approved by the City Council last week and were opposed to a third proposed ordinance that would change the food-to-alcohol percentage ratio restaurants are required to uphold." This is taken from John Barker's May 16th article. Everyone who is complaining that the mayor isn't speaking for the people needs to recognize that obviously City Council wasn't listening to the people last Tuesday. Yes, listen to the people.
Janice Goad May 22, 2012 at 01:34 PM
"Many of the approximately 100 residents" is a pretty vague count, don't you think? Even if it were ALL of the EXACTLY 100 residents, is that representative of the community? Maybe if the community is under 200 people, but I think Douglasville is a little bigger than that. Members of the City Council live and work among the people, so it's likely they heard plenty BEFORE the meeting began and may very well have been listening to the people for quite some time. Now all the people who are registered voters will have a chance to offer their opinions, not just the ones who attended a meeting. Sounds a lot more fair to me.
FlowerChild72 May 22, 2012 at 01:37 PM
Well it's the people's right to vote that is at issue here. Mr. Person's said he supported that when he campaigned. Now he's gone back on his word, that's quite simply.....lying. If the citizenry doesn't want the alcohol issues to pass then go vote. Exercise your right to say that at the polls. I don't want anyone speaking for me; I can do that myself. And I surely don't want an opportunity to vote taken away, no matter what the issue?
Lara May 22, 2012 at 02:03 PM
I opposed Sunday alcohol sales and the extended drinking hours.. but I agree the citizens should have the right to vote.. I encourage all who oppose Sunday sales to come out and vote against it and let us the people decide and support the kind of city we want to live in...a family friendly place where Sundays are for spending quality time with family and not boozing it up!
Tammy Stoner May 22, 2012 at 02:07 PM
What are the values here? Public safety? How can this be when we focus on a 15,000 car and ignore a 15million dollar violation of public safety, and trust, hidden from view, but just as real.
Murray Jr May 22, 2012 at 03:18 PM
I don't think anyone is disparaging his religious convictions, but there is no evidence that Sunday sales increase accidents or DUI's. Please explain how allowing a vote on Sunday sales equates to "booze" being more important than human life. Also, he wasn't vetoing Sunday sales, he was vetoing the people being allowed to vote on whether we want Sunday Sales or not. Everyone who doesn't believe in drinking on Sunday we still be able to abstain.
Murray Jr May 22, 2012 at 03:19 PM
This.
Murray Jr May 22, 2012 at 03:24 PM
Please explain to me how not being able to purchase alcohol on Sunday's is going to lead to more quality family time and make Douglasville a more family friendly place?
Virginia D May 22, 2012 at 04:44 PM
What is this $15 million violation? I would like to do some research on it. I think that people focused on the vehicle because of how the mayor was allowed to trade it in when so many of his constituents are struggling. It might not be the most important issue on the table, but it was an example of misaligned priorities that was too blatant to ignore.
Lilly White May 22, 2012 at 05:19 PM
The right to vote is the foundation of democracy. How is it even remotely fair for the Mayor in a community to make a decision about a law based on his religious beliefs and not even consider allowing the citizens in that community to decide for themselves?
Lilly White May 22, 2012 at 06:09 PM
I encourage all who are for people being able to use their God given "free will" to decide whether or not they want to purchase alcohol everyday of the week or just six days a week. I mean, we can continue to purchase what we might want before midnight Saturday, or we can just go to any of the dozens of local restaurants that serve alcohol on Sunday. Or we can VOTE and use our "free will" to make our OWN decisions.
Brian May 23, 2012 at 12:56 PM
This is a sad world when a "church" follows it's convictions and (it's) people want to slam "my freedom." I guess their "religious agenda" is more important than "my freedom."
Phil Cosmos May 23, 2012 at 08:46 PM
It is my view that if alcohol is not to be sold on Sundays, then all other religions should be given the same respect; for example, the Jewish holy day starts at 6pm on Friday and ends at 6pm on Saturday. Either sell or do not sell, and if religion is the motivation, such as Sunday rather than some other day, then all religions need the same respect and treatment.
Phil Cosmos May 23, 2012 at 08:56 PM
Why is Sunday the only family day? Favoring only Christianity and forgetting all other religions seems wrong to me. If you meant "spending quality time with family" as just your free time or day off, then what about the people who have to work on Sunday, yet are off on Tuesday, or some other day?
Phil Cosmos May 23, 2012 at 09:12 PM
I agree with you about the vote Lilly, but I am offended that the law even existed in the first place. I believe it should be sold on all days or no days. How can it be OK to sell for six days, yet horrible to sell on one day? The one day chosen just happens to be the Christian holy day while all other religions are ignored. I hope it turns out that people can purchase alcohol on Sunday, for I plan on pursuing religious equality in a strong way otherwise.
leanne scott May 28, 2012 at 04:31 AM
Ok so everyone buy you alcohol on Saturday stock up for Sunday if you drink because this silly blue law is soooooo gonna stop people from drinking one day out of the week there are as many alcohol related crimes on Sunday as any other day to any intelligent person who can add knows to buy more on Saturday besides what happened to separation of church and state
Tammy Stoner June 28, 2012 at 02:20 PM
Virginia, research storm water and water damages here. i would love your help. It is very expensive for the public. It is an education problem. It is a fraud problem with the impact being ethics, morals, trust and transparency today. In either case it is a very expensive problem, and we are paying dearly, with most of us not having a clue. When we address it, we will get to be a better place. I am convinced of that. But it begins with education, and who should be doing that? I am 100% self taught. The school of hard knocks.

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