0

City voters narrowly drown Sunday sales

EVERY VOTE COUNTS: Chuck Owens, left, casts his vote along with other voters at Merry Acres Elementary School Precinct 6 Tuesday.

EVERY VOTE COUNTS: Chuck Owens, left, casts his vote along with other voters at Merry Acres Elementary School Precinct 6 Tuesday.

ALBANY, Ga. — By less than 500 votes, the Albany electorate has voted down a move to allow the sale of alcohol by retail establishments within the city on Sundays.

By unofficial numbers, 6,675 voters, or 51.8 percent, chose “no” on their ballots, while 6,195 voters, 48.2 percent, voted in favor of the Sunday sales question.

Sunday Alcohol Sales In Albany

Yes 6,251
No 6,717

The referendum, which was only open to voters who reside within the corporate city limits of Albany, created odd political bedfellows between clergy — many of whom want Albany and Dougherty County to be dry altogether — and liquor store owners — who believe allowing Sunday sales would force their costs to increase without any significant jump in profits.

If adopted, the measure would’ve allowed retail stores to sell packaged alcohol after 12:30 p.m. on Sundays. Alcohol by the drink is already sold on Sunday in Albany.

Elections officials say that 12,870 total votes were cast in the referendum.

Contrary to many expectations, the referendum received little pre-election buzz. Short of a news conference held by local preachers, the issue garnered few headlines.

Voters within the city must now wait at least two years before the issue can be considered again. Residents of the county, however, can consider the issue as early as next year.

Comments

TrixibelleBento 2 years, 11 months ago

Wow, religion trumps freedom! We have no hope of joining the 21st century.

0

mrnobody 2 years, 11 months ago

You obviously missed this part.

"and liquor store owners — who believe allowing Sunday sales would force their costs to increase without any significant jump in profits."

Don't blame it all on religion. The stores this vote affected appear to have not been in favor of this.

0

Mr_Heatmiser 2 years, 11 months ago

So who would be forcing a liquor store to open on Sunday if they don't want to? That was the dumbest argument presented in this whole matter. If you don't want to incur the additional cost of opening on Sundays, then don't do it. Genius.

0

TrixibelleBento 2 years, 11 months ago

I'm aware of what the store owners said, but I have a feeling that the majority of people who voted no voted because their pastor told them to.

I don't really buy liquor, so I could care less. However, I would like the ability to buy liquor if I so chose like in a "normal" city.

I guess I can just get hammered at a restaurant and expose people to drinking and driving. Wouldn't it be safer for me to stay at home and drink? I know that I can buy on Saturday night, but it's just the principle of the thing.

0

tocar 2 years, 11 months ago

We are thankful that the Sunday liquor sales were voted down. Maybe the ones who feel compelled to drink on Sundays will at least stay home with their families. Maybe their families do not want them at home though. I pray it will at least keep them off of the road on the Lord's day.

1

wartiger57 2 years, 11 months ago

Well Richland passed it. I should be good and drunk by the time I get back to Albany from driving up there to get some beer. Y'all watch out!

2

Sally_O 2 years, 11 months ago

They need to put this Sunday alcohol sales to rest. This is about the 2nd or 3rd time the public has voted on this. It's clear the majority does not want Sunday alcohol sales, so don't bring it up again. If you want to drink, then buy your booze on Saturday. It's going to cost & taste the same.

0

wartiger57 2 years, 11 months ago

Way to show your ignorance. This is the first election EVER in Georgia to vote on Sunday sales by the package. Albany already has Sunday sales by the drink. In two years it can return to the ballot and will, when the city council sees all the revenue it generates for surrounding communities when it passes there.

0

Sally_O 2 years, 11 months ago

Ignorant, your the one who is ignorant. Why do you think you can't buy alcohol today? You used to be able to until they voted against it. Poor baby, can't buy your stupid beer on Saturday. The world is coming to an end. Go ahead and put it on the ballot again, it will be voted down again...Loser.

0

Mr_Heatmiser 2 years, 11 months ago

It is perfectly legal to drive to a restaurant on Sunday and drink all you want.

You have done nothing except prevent me from being able to buy a bottle of wine or a six-pack of beer while I'm doing my grocery shopping for the week on Sunday afternoon, and solidify Albany's status as Bumpkinville.

3

Ezekiel 2 years, 11 months ago

This is such a stupid and meaningless law, an enormous waste of time from all angles. A+ for wasting time and tax dollars over something so meaningless.

0

Todd198 2 years, 11 months ago

tocar: I can have a beer on Sunday and still have a fine day with the family. Those that cannot can still get drunk and be abusive to their families by buying the alcohol on Saturday. So safety and having a good family life are not guaranteed by not being able to buy alcohol on Sunday. If it is about a religious belief, here's something to think about. If there are a majority of Catholics in the area and they opted to vote no meat sales on Fridays of Lent, would that be acceptable to you? That all being said, if there is to be a law like this, I can get behind it being made at the lowest political level. If this were a state-wide ban, I would be much more against it. If 500 more people in Albany want to not have Sunday sales, so be it - I can get what I want on base anyway!

Sally_O: "It's clear the majority does not want Sunday alcohol sales" Strictly speaking, yes, it was a majority but at 6,675 voters (51.8%) to 6,195 (48.2), it was hardly a slam dunk. Give it another election cycle and it may not go your way. I'm leaving next summer so its largely irrelevant to me - you can consider me an objective, libertarian (small 'l' - i.e. not associated with the party) observer.

One word on referendums: There is a reason why the framers created the Constitution in the way they did. They considered the people to be fickle and easily swayed (any disagreement there?) Federal legislative power was put in the hands of the Congress and laws were meant to be extremely difficult to pass (thus the saying, "It will take an act of congress to get that done") . Referendums, are basically mob rule and mob rule is 3 wolves and 2 sheep voting what to have for dinner that night. As I said before, however, at least this is done at the local level. I have much less of a problem with these sorts of things being done at city or county level.

0

Sally_O 2 years, 11 months ago

Such a low turnout! Probably too drunk to go to the polls. have a safe trip. Come back when you can't stay as long.

0

Todd198 2 years, 11 months ago

I didn't say it was a low turnout; I was just saying that it wasn't a huge margin. Also, if not supporting the ban was the equivalent of being a brown-bag lush (say, someone too drunk to go to the polls) then I guess there would have probably been more like 80% to 20%. As it is, it seems that nearly 6200 people (once again, 48.2%) were sober enough to get to the polling station and vote for lifting the ban.

"have a safe trip. Come back when you can't stay as long." I'm not sure why stating my opinion on the subject would cause you to be so testy. I'm sorry that you seem to be so offended by other viewpoints.

0

Jacob 2 years, 11 months ago

Sally seems awfully frustrated about something, no? Maybe a nice glass of merlot would settle her nerves..

0

shredex3 2 years, 11 months ago

Don't worry, Lee County will pass it next. They may have for all I know, but that will be MORE tax dollars going to Lee Co. Then all we will hear is, "Tell them Lee Co. folks to stay out of our county." Just another thing for the people who travel here for work to talk about. I would have to bet if we passed it, then the publicity would go away and nobody would be talking about it.

0

Engineer 2 years, 11 months ago

Such low-brow comments from Sally_O, insulting people with opposing opinions is no way to go about things. Frankly, I don't like to drink alcohol (never have cared for it), but I respect the individual choices of others to purchase an otherwise legal substance (Legal 6 out of 7 days). If you have moral or religious reasons to abstain from alcohol, then by all means abstain from alcohol, but it shouldn't be up to the government to enforce your personal convictions.

As it stands, the results were roughly a 500 vote difference, had this vote come on a major election cycle (like a presidential election), I suspect the results would have been quite different.

0

guardian 2 years, 11 months ago

Don't criticize the people who voted against Sunday alcohol sales; criticize the people who didn't bother to vote.

0

Citizen_A 2 years, 11 months ago

As a person who doesn't drink, and feels guilty for buying a loaf of bread on the Sabbath Day, it would be hypocritical for me to have voted yes. That being said....yet again people are confused about freedom. Just because you have the freedom to do something doesn't make it right. Any Christian knows the Ten Commandments...Keep the Sabbath Day Holy. What about buying alcohol on Sunday is in tune with that? What is the worst thing about this law...you have to think ahead of time and buy your alcohol on Saturday.

0

Engineer 2 years, 11 months ago

So what about other religions that have their Day of Sabbath on days other than Sunday? For example, for Jewish folks, is it Friday night thru Saturday night. There are any number of other Sabbath days for other religions. Why should a law be made to cater to that one religion (and how does that even hold up constitutionally)?

How about banning alcohol sales on Monday or Tuesday instead? I wonder, would you feel the same convictions for a ban on a non-religious-related date?

0

Citizen_A 2 years, 11 months ago

I am sure other religions treat their Sabbath in keeping with their teachings. I am not going to begin to defend the Sunday as Sabbath...anyone wanting to decide for themselves can Google it. The fact is since I was born, the work week has always been Monday thru Friday. On Saturdays, we did what we needed to get done so that we could rest and attend our church services on Sunday. Noone is trying to shove any one religion down anyone's throat. It just seems a little selfish to me to not at least give one day of rest. If it were a life-sustaining need then I could see some worth in it. Noone is going to die if they cannot get to the package store on Sunday.

0

Engineer 2 years, 11 months ago

You are ignoring my point. Why should they have to follow your day instead of theirs? Why should we follow any single group's day?

0

MrDClark 2 years, 11 months ago

Albany is so backwards, (The Lords day)? Are you kidding me? The Sabbath day is Saturday and people eat drink and be merry on that day, Come away from your traditions people. Albany is a backwards little hamlet and I am glad that I left that forsakened place. For the ones who are left, see how blessed your city will be, Glad to be delivered from Agony,GA.

0

MrDClark 2 years, 11 months ago

Albany,Ga is so so backwards, you proclaim Sunday as the Lords Day, every day is the Lords day geniuses, but Saturday is the Sabbath, that the Lord says to rest and to keep Holy Albany is nothing but a bible thumping hamlet, Is your city blessed? No, crime is high and it has no hope economically, I live in a city that has Sunday alcohol sales in another state. I had to leave Albany because it is backwards and economically depressed. People are going to drink regardless. I am an occasional drinker not a drunk and I feel so blessed to have LEFT that forsaken place, be blessed Agony,GA

1

billstrickland 2 years, 11 months ago

When I was a kid in a small town, businesses stayed open until nearly midnight on Saturday because that was when the farm workers could make it to town and do their shopping. Because of that, at least one weekday (I seem to recall it was Thursday) had all the businesses closed on that afternoon. It wasn't backward; it was sensible. And unless you were too stupid to understand how things worked, or to read signs that indicated when businesses were open, you didn't complain -- you adjusted. In lots of places, Albany included, some restaurants aren't open on Mondays. Is that too complex for you to deal with? Is it your right to insist that a man who has started his own business and tries to run it as well as possible that he needs to adjust his business to suit you? Oh, and by the way, "Sabbath" or "Shabbat" means "rest" or "cessation" -- it doesn't mean "seventh." Various religions and other traditions identify various time periods as "Sabbaths" -- traditionally, I believe, Jewish views have Shabbat beginning at sundown on Friday and ending at nightfall on Saturday. I wonder which day we can get a rest from "Albany stinks," "is backwards," is "a Bible-thumping hamlet" and similar mean-spiritedness?

0

MrDClark 2 years, 11 months ago

It is probably good that the voters did not approve sunday alcohol sales, Nobodys goes to Albany anyway, No Interstate highway, no where near an International Airport, no signature highrise building downtown, an outdated 1 level mall, no Town Center Mall, no incentive to compete for businesses, Atlanta doesn't even recognize Albany as a Georgia city. Valdosta is south Georgia's next Metropolitan city. Albany,Ga? oh that's the town located between Columbus and Valdosta, or between Macon and Tallahassee. US hwy 19-82 was designed to bypass Albany and that's what businesses and people do Bypass it I don't like bashing Albany but it is stuck in the early 20th century.

0

Sign in to comment