Who should lead Sunday alcohol request? - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Who should lead Sunday alcohol request?

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Dougherty County Commissioners say they want the city of Albany to take the lead in putting a Sunday alcohol sales referendum on the ballot. City leaders say that's fine with them, and they're confident they can get a referendum on the ballot in November.

Dougherty County Commissioners said since most of the stores that will be involved are in the city, they want the city commission to take the lead on putting the issue on the ballot. @ 

Dougherty County Commissioners were told they would have to move quickly to get the referendum put on the November ballot, after the Georgia law permitting it takes effect in July.

But because only 21 of the 161 businesses that would sell alcohol by the package, like grocery stores, liquor stores, or convenience stores, are in the county, they want city leaders to lead the initiative."

Dougherty County Commissioner Lamar Hudgins said, "85% are in the city limits, so I think the city would be the one to take the lead on it."

Assistant City Manager Wes Smith said he feels confident Sunday alcohol sales by the pack will be on November's ballot.  "I think there will be four votes to put it on the ballot, and we will go from there. If the county elects not to do that, that's really not an issue to us."

City Commissioner Jon Howard said he was surprised. "I was hoping that the county would take the lead role, due to the fact that the city sits inside the county. But since they have said they want the city to bless it, I think the commission itself will probably take it up at our next work session."

 "I would not have a problem letting people have a vote on it," Hudgins said

But County Commissioners say they would rather deal with the issue after the city commission takes the lead. County Attorney Spencer Lee told commissioners that U.S. Justice Department Approval would have to be gained, and then the issue placed on November's ballot in time for citizens to be notified. 

Assistant City Manager Wes Smith says the city will wait until voters have their say-so on the Sunday sales issue before working out details of an ordinance.


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