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Liquor store vote expected on ballot
Petition must have 335 signatures
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Will 2014 be the year for package liquor stores to get the OK in McMinnville? Voters may get another chance to decide as the question could be on the ballot in November.
According to election administrator Donna Smith, she has had two individuals contact her about what is necessary to get the question on the ballot. Smith said the law specifies any petition has to be received at least 60 days before the election. In this case, that deadline would be Sept. 5.
The petition must contain at least 335 verified signatures of McMinnville voters because that is 10 percent of the total number who voted in the last governor’s election in the city.
The last time voters were asked to decide on package liquor stores in McMinnville was in 2010 when the measure failed by 200 votes. An attempt was made to try again in 2012. However, while the petition submitted contained well over 335 signatures, only 132 of those were valid.
Smith says the people were extremely interested in the process and she expects to see the issue on the ballot in November.
“I fully expect someone to follow through with that,” she said. “I’ve had at least two gentlemen to come to the office and inquire about it and they were very interested.”
The information was presented to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen on Tuesday night. Mayor Jimmy Haley says he has been contacted by interested individuals as well.
“I have been asked by several individuals about having it on the ballot in November,” Haley said. “I have had several people ask me about the process and how you do that. I ask them to call you, Mrs. Smith.”
The idea of liquor stores in McMinnville has been an ongoing conversation for many years between people who want to allow them and people who don’t. The battle may not end if liquor stores are approved.
Alderman Ken Smith asked Donna Smith, “If package liquor stores were permitted in the city, can a petition be filed in the next election cycle to do away with it? If it passes, could we repeal it?”
“It could be done,” said Smith. “I don’t know of any instance right off where that has been done, but yes, it can be done by the petition process.”
For more information, contact the Warren County Election Commission at 473-5834.