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e-sound off for the week of September 23, 2010

Your source for community topics and thoughts

Sounding off on alcohol sales
“Did you hear Athens had a budget surplus this fiscal year? Hey did you know they went “wet” just a few years ago? It’s all about management. If you don’t like it, don’t buy it but at least give those who want it the option to purchase it in their own town! That way you can benefit from their purchases, instead its going to another city, which does nothing for you or the city at all.”

“The best example we have when making a decision about the alcohol sales is Decatur. Their mayor is proposing that they cut half a million dollars from the school budget. Their city has recently approved selling alcohol on Sundays and yet they need to make cuts. Those that purport that alcohol sales will bring money to Hartselle are using this as an excuse for what they actually want if we were wet. They need to be honest and say that it is because they just want the purchase of alcohol to be more convenient for themselves or because they will personally profit as the owner of a business that would add this to their product line. The committee that has formed and named itself, Citizen for Economic Development, is the definition of oxymoron. How can an organization that calls itself economic development in turn push for something that will in the end cause a net economic loss for the city? Please, fellow Hartsellians, take a good look at Decatur. Are they who we want to model?”

“Some are making excuses about Decatur’s budget problems. The hard cold truth is that liquor revenue has not solved Decatur’s budget woes in their education system or general fund budget. If you think Decatur is the model for how to manage a town then why not move to Decatur? Are Decatur schools better than Hartselle? Are the students smarter? Are the recreational facilities better? Is the crime rate lower? Are people happier?

The truth is – you like the quality of life in Hartselle. You probably moved here for the quality of life. Then don’t mess with our quality of life!”

“Look this is an option to bring in additional sales tax revenue and allow more opportunities for restaurants and businesses that typically shy away from “dry” communities to come in. With proper policies and ordinances it will do just that! Give us the revenue minus a lot of the other issues that can accompany ungoverned alcohol sales.”

“I haven’t heard one person in support of this referendum say that they want to see bars and lounges in Hartselle. Neither have I heard that allowing legalized alcohol sales and generating revenue from those sales will solve all the problems in Hartselle. What it will do is bolster the tax revenue base, which in turn, will ease the burden in financing this $40-45 million monstrosity of a school that is being forced on the citizens. What should have happened regarding this high school is that the people should have been allowed to vote yea or nay on building it. The price tag of this project increases every time we have a new moon. What started out at $25 million, is now nearing $45 million.”
There’s a lot of things that can be eliminated, but due to the appeasement of certain factions of the school, there is no give and take from either faction.

The Hartselle Enquirer’s e-sound off is an  opportunity for residents to provide anonymous comments about community issues. All comments are subject to editing. The Editor reserves the right to refuse publication. In the event of several submissions on a single topic, a representative comment may be used. Comments can include your thoughts on local issues, questions about policies or procedures or praise for a community group, business or person. Email your comments to with “Sound-off” in subject line.