Letter: A fresh perspective

Dear Editor,

Brent, I appreciate your article about the attitudes and methods of debating the liquor referendum. It is good to keep your thoughts in mind and practice. Hopefully we can all agree that love for our fellow man should overcome our differences. With that said, let’s look a little more closely at the example you chose. Which do you more closely identify with – the coyote or the sheepdog, the one looking for a quick fix or the one looking to stay the course, the course that was in place to serve the greater good of the community?

With that in mind, let’s move past the feel good memories of yesteryear and put the issue of legal liquor sales in perspective.

No other local issue has been as divisive and spanned so many generations. No other local issue goes to the core of our valued community identity. No other local issue goes to the basic philosophy of how to govern and create more revenue for the government.

No other local issue has created so much pressure for many business owners. For a few churches, no other local issue has created so much tension. No other local issue has prompted some city leaders to hope for a change in the outcome based on the passing of a generation. No other local issue has produced such a strong defense of personal liberty. No other local issue has prompted such great interest in the city’s budget. No other local issue has prompted so many people to regularly attend some government functions. No other local issue has caused such a large turnout on election day.

No other local issue has cost the city so much money. It costs the city budget approximately $15,000. Including this election, the City has spent over $45,000 since 2002.

No other local issue has produced such strong volunteer support. No other local issue has prompted so much prayer and generated such large donations of time and money. No other local issue has captured as much consistent media attention outside of Hartselle.

Against this backdrop, it is amazing that this city has carried on, thrived and grown after the 2002 and 2010 elections. It is amazing that the Chamber of Commerce, civic clubs and churches have pulled back together, carried on and thrived. It is amazing that so many new businesses have chosen to locate here.

I believe recent history shows that if we are fortunate enough to put this issue to rest once again, we will continue to be an attractive, thriving, unified city. The sheepdog will once again have done his job and be ready until the next whistle blows.

Jeff Johnson

Families for a Safe

Hartselle

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