Petition Seeks To Allow Liquor Sales In Woodbury

KEVIN HALPERN, Courier Co-Editor

A petition drive is underway to ask Woodbury voters to approve the sale of liquor in the Town of Woodbury.

Cannon County Administrator of Elections Stan Dobson said at Monday's meeting of the county's Election Commission that the petition drive is being organized by Dan Bowling, who owns and operates First Stop Market on West Main Street and, according to Dobson, recently purchased the building on South McCrary Street which formerly housed the Movie Gallery.

The petition calls for a "Referendum for Retail Package Store and allows local restaurants to sell spirits by the drink."

It reads, "We, registered voters of the City of Woodbury, TN, do hereby request the holding of a local option election to authorize retail package stores to sell alcoholic beverages as provided by law."

Dobson said it was his understanding approximately 100 people have already signed the petition. He said the number of signatures of registered voters needed to put the question to an election is 10 percent of the number of people who voted in the last presidential election. Dobson estimated the number need to be between 170 to 180.

If and when enough signatures are obtained and verified as valid by the election office, the petition for a referendum would be presented to the Woodbury Board of Mayor and Alderman. That board would then be required to set a date for the referendum.

The question to allow or not allow package store or liquor by the drink sales in Woodbury will not be on the ballot for the upcoming Nov. 2 election, as the ballot for that election has already been set.

It has only been in the last few years that the selling of beer has been permitted in Woodbury.

In other business Monday the Election Commission:

* Heard from Dobson that training for new election workers will take place Tuesday (Oct. 5) and voting machines for the November election will be inspected Thursday (Oct. 7). Early voting for the election begins Oct. 13.

* Re-scheduled the November meeting of the commission from Nov. 1 to Nov. 8. The commission must certify the results of the Nov. 2 election by Nov. 22.

* Heard a financial report from Dobson who stated that the election office had a balance of $104,543.07 in its 2010-2011 fiscal year budget as of noon Monday. It's total budget for the year is $155,574. Dobson said $16,496.13 has been spent so far on the August and November elections.