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City keeps 300-foot beer barrier
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Faced with wave after wave of opposition Tuesday night at McMinnville City Hall, all the people in attendance managed to change one vote – that of Mayor Jimmy Haley.


A measure to remove the city’s 300-foot minimum distance between churches, schools and places that sell beer failed by a 4-3 vote. It had previously passed in September by a 4-3 margin.


The difference was Mayor Haley. He had voted for removing the 300-foot minimum distance in September to allow the measure to pass first read. Voting with him were Vice Mayor Ben Newman and Aldermen Billy Wood and Rick Barnes.


Newman, Wood and Barnes continued to support the measure Tuesday night, but more than one hour of opposition to took its toll on Haley. Person after person addressed the city board and spoke in opposition of keeping the 300-foot minimum distance.


That was apparently enough to convince Haley to vote to keep the 300-foot minimum distance along with Aldermen Mike Neal, Jimmy Bonner and Ken Smith.


Minutes after making his vote, Haley asked if he could change his vote, but was told he could not without a unanimous vote of the board. Realizing he would not get a unanimous vote, Haley didn’t even ask.