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Letter to the Editor 3-16
Alcohol measures are city's chief priority
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Once more, the current city board has voted to make the availability of alcohol a priority. This would exclude Aldermen Jimmy Bonner and Mike Neal who voted no on the latest measure.
The other five members of the board voted in favor of allowing the sale and consumption of alcohol in certain areas of city property, if a person obtains a permit from a designated city employee.
Every city board is often remembered for things they have done to improve our city. This city board will be remembered as one that has made alcohol its main focus.
A few months ago when another alcohol measure was being discussed in which it was sought to do away with the distance requirement from schools and churches, the people were told it had nothing to do with the Park Theater.
Most people thought this untrue. It turns out, we were right. The Park Theater is one of the areas the board now wants to allow alcohol to be sold and consumed.
The restoration of Park Theater cost over $2 million of the taxpayers' money. Would the measure to restore it have passed if the voters had been told the ultimate goal was to allow alcohol to be sold and consumed there?
We are led to believe by some board members that passing the alcohol measures will be a financial benefit to our city by brining more events to these areas. Every study I have ever seen shows the ultimate cost of alcoholism is far greater than any financial gain.
When people attend those events at the areas the city will grant alcohol permits, they will eventually leave these areas. Many of them will then be driving on the roads. What if one of these people has an accident resulting in injury or death?
They city may escape any legal responsibility since there are laws against suing a city under many circumstances. But, there will be no escaping the moral responsibility for such an incident.
It's sad we live in a day where our leaders are more focused on making alcohol their priority than seeking to make McMinnville a better place to live. Time will prove it will be a costly decision.
This city board has made it clear in the direction it wants to lead our city. Ultimately, the voters will have to decide if it's best for McMinnville.
David H. Hill
Lyon Street