Although the decision rests with city voters, two Smithville Aldermen are speaking out publically against proposed liquor sales in stores and restaurants, issues that will be decided November 4 in two city referendums.
Aldermen Shawn Jacobs and Josh Miller have jointly paid for ads on WJLE asking city voters to oppose liquors sales in Smithville. "We are urging all voters to vote against the referendums and show a chosen few we do not want this for our town," said Alderman Miller.
"When you expand the sale of liquor, it also often leads to the easier access for underage consumption of alcohol which is something we already have a major problem with in our community and something we feel we do not want to contribute to. We're asking voters of the City of Smithville that you vote against both of these referenda," said Alderman Jacobs.
Aldermen Miller and Jacobs stress that by speaking out, they are not necessarily representing the views of the other members of the Smithville Mayor and Board of Aldermen.
Local businessman Randy Paris conducted successful petitions drives earlier this year to get the referendums on the ballot during the November State General Election.
In a previous interview with WJLE, Paris said liquor sales is a way to boost the local economy and bring in more tax revenue. "The decision really shouldn't be about whether you drink or not or whether you approve of it or not. It should be a business decision that will help our city economically. We have a huge tourism trade and this is a way of generating revenue for our city from the amount of tourism we have as well as our local people who are spending money in Putnam County, Rutherford County, Jackson County, and all the surrounding areas. The money would stay in our county and our city to help us," he said.
Paris successfully organized two liquor referendum petition drives two years ago but both were defeated at the polls.
In this election, the Consumption on the Premises Referendum asks city voters to either vote "for legal sale of alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises in Smithville" or "against legal sale of alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises in Smithville."
The Retail Package Store Referendum asks city voters to either vote "To permit retail package stores to sell beverages in Smithville" or "not to permit retail package stores to sell alcoholic beverages in Smithville".
A simple majority is all that is needed for passage.