First-Year Commish In Favor Of Letting Voters Decide On Alcohol In Unincorporated Parts Of County

Carroll County voters may get the opportunity to decide on Sunday alcohol sales, package store liquor sales and liquor by the drink sales for unincorporated Carroll County as soon as spring of 2018. The Carroll County board of commissioners now has at least one extra vote in favor of taking those questions to the polls.
Commissioners last decided against letting voters make the call on alcohol sales in the county back in August of 201. The vote was four to three against the proposal: Chairman Marty Smith, District Three Commish Tommy Lee, then-District-5 Commissioner Kevin Jackson, and District Six Commissioner George Chambers all voting against.
But since then, the term of District 5 Commissioner Jackson ended.
Lee Powers was elected to that seat and began his term in 2017.
Powers told WLBB Radio Tuesday that if commissioners again consider the proposal, he would support it. His vote would essentially turn the previous district 5 vote from a "nay" into a "yay." If all other commissioners stick with their previous vote, Carroll County voters would get the chance to make the decision on these controversial questions as soon as next spring.
Powers explained his support for such a proposal on Tuesday.
"The state is very clear on  how alcohol issues get voted on and the state says that the residents have to vote on it-- that commissioners cannot make that decision on whether or not to sell or not sell alcohol," Powers said. "I believe that we live in a democracy... that the people have a voice. They can decide yes or no. I believe we should allow the people to vote on it."
Having said that, Powers insists he will answer 'no' to the alcohol questions as a voter at the ballot box, if they do make it to the polls. He even went as far as to say he will take part in a campaign to urge voters to say 'no' to the question of Sunday sales.
"I like the traditions of Sunday. I'm a Christian. I really do believe you have six days to buy it and the seventh day is supposed to be holy," he said. "But, this is not my decision. I represent the people and a lot of people have asked me if I was going to allow them to vote."
Carroll County Commission Chairman Marty Smith confirmed Tuesday that the BOC has revisited the discussion regarding the unincorporated county's alcohol ordinance. He says he expects the board could vote on sending a single question or multiple questions relating to alcohol in the unincorporated part of the county, by the end of this year.
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