Meridian Star


April 14, 2013

Giving voters a choice makes sense

MERIDIAN — On June 4, residents of the city of Philadelphia will vote in a general election on whether or not to allow the sale of wine and liquor within city limits.

    Beer sales are allowed in Philadelphia, although Neshoba County is a dry county.

    Last year, the Mississippi Legislature approved a new law signed by Gov. Phil Bryant that allows city residents in municipalities of at least 5,000 people to vote on whether or not to legalize liquor inside city limits.

    A countywide vote was required prior to the passage of the law. Under the new law, if voters approve the sale of liquor, it will be up to the municipality's governing body to decide if the liquor and wine can be sold only in restaurants or in package stores as well.

    In Philadelphia, Mayor James Young and the board of alderman would choose where wine and alcohol is sold if the measure is approved by voters.

    Young, who is also pastor of Calvary Apostolic Church in Louisville, favors liquor and wine sales within the city, although he does not intend to ever purchase alcohol himself. The issue to him is one of economic development.

    "I think we are missing some opportunities for some upper level restaurants by not making alcohol sales available," Young said. "We are not going to get any of the next level restaurants if we don't have this available to them. I don't drink but I do like good food."

    Local attorney Jeremy Chalmers has been at the forefront of efforts to get the alcohol initiative on the ballot in Philadelphia.

     "It doesn't make sense to me to limit a proprietor's ability to offer alcohol for sale," Chalmers said, noting that casinos in Neshoba County, Silver Star and Golden Moon, are already allowed to serve alcohol.

    It is a valid argument.

    Some chain restaurants will not locate within a dry county or city. Localities that allow liquor sales at restaurants have an advantage over those that do not when it comes to attracting some new eateries.

    And we are not adverse to an adult having a glass of wine or alcoholic drink with their meal. Irresponsible alcohol consumption is another matter all together and there are laws in place to deal with those who drink in excess.

    At the same time,  we understand why the sale of wine and liquor would be of concern to some residents.

    We will be OK with the outcome of the June 4 vote in Philadelphia regardless of what residents decide. For us, we are just glad to see that they will be able to make that choice.

    For that, we applaud the Mississippi Legislature and Gov. Bryant.

Text Only
Biz Marquee
New Today

Do you think the tax free holiday for school clothes and shoes under $100 that began Friday and ends at midnight tonight is needed to help parents of school children?

     View Results
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Palestinians and Israeli Soldiers Clash Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide