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Letters to the editor

Voting no is good for the city

Many of us who live in Hartselle love the people and the town very much. In fact, we love the way Hartselle is. We appreciate our city government and all the city employees who make our town a great place to live. We love the improvements that have been made over the years and are still being made.
In fact, many of us even love the ones who disagree with us over certain issues, or over political views, and even religious views – at least that has been my experience these 11 years of living in Hartselle. Sadly, not everyone loves Hartselle the way it is, and use every opportunity and means to attack our various boards, groups and individuals for the things they do or do not do, as the case may be. The recent letter titled, “Alcohol Sales Good for City,” is a case in point. The author of the article is often the town’s critic but now he has become the town’s gossipmonger.
In fact, the only reason I felt compelled to respond to Hartselle’s newest gossip columnist is because he made accusations about members of the Families for a Safe Hartselle committee and preachers in our town that, frankly, was an example of the rankest form of tale-bearing. He accused members of the committee of being “frequent guests of night clubs, bars and liquor stores in Decatur, and attacked church members as being “hypocrites that attend church on Sunday with a hangover” and even claimed that preachers were seen “frequently existing the liquor stores in Decatur.” None of these malicious statements are substantiated or proven. No names are given. In fact, no claim of actually seeing anyone doing this – just gossip of the worst sort.
He even claimed he was “told by numerous people, some of the donations accepted for their “well-funded” campaign against wet-dry came from people making a living from alcohol sales in Decatur.” Let’s put that bit of gossip to rest. None of the money that came to Families for a Safe Hartselle came from anyone in Decatur with alcohol interests – not a penny. I heard the same rumor, but unlike our town gossip columnist, checked it out and found it to be just that – a false rumor. This hearsay evidence would be thrown out of a courtroom and is another example of gossipmongering to try and attack a group in our city.
I appreciate the article written by Andy and April Priola who are newcomers to our community. They are representative of why Hartselle should carefully consider the pros and cons of bringing alcohol into our community. I have personally spoken to some fine folks in our town who drink alcohol but simply do not want it sold here. They moved here to get away from the side effects alcohol sales bring to every town – negative side effects that threaten the life we now enjoy in Hartselle.
The article’s attempt to reassure voters that “if Hartselle were to go wet, the ordinance that we already have available to be voted on prohibits bars, saloons, nightclubs and any other form of “watering holes,” is false assurance. Any city council can undo what a previous city council votes for in an ordinance and all promises made are likely to be broken in the future. Decatur wasn’t going to sell alcohol on Sundays but they do now. Taxes weren’t going up, but they did. Ask any Decatur officer who was working before and after Decatur went wet what changes they have seen in the city then you’ll know what to do in November. Alcohol sales will not be good for our city in many ways far more important than the revenue the article’s author claims is his reason for supporting Hartselle going wet. Let’s love our city enough to keep it safe and dry for our families, our kids and our future.
Walter M. Blackman

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