Archive for Wednesday, June 30, 2004

City rejects Sunday sales of alcohol

June 30, 2004

The well now is completely dry for Sunday sales at Tonganoxie liquor stores -- at least from the city's standpoint.

At the urging of liquor-store owner Corky Krouse, the city council revisited the issue at Monday's regular meeting.

But with council members Steve Gumm and Ron Cranor voting for the charter ordinance, and Kathy Graveman and Velda Roberts voting against it, the issue was tied. Mayor Dave Taylor could have voted to break the deadlock, but a charter ordinance needs a super majority of the entire council. With fifth council member Emmett Wetta absent, that couldn't happen and the issue died.

As for the Sunday liquor being available at Tonganoxie's three liquor stores, the issue still might have a shot on the November ballot. It just depends whether a referendum petition can be filed at the county clerk's office.

I'm not in the loop on the referendum on liquor sales," said county clerk Linda Scheer. "I need to search for law changes that allow a city to put it on the ballot, so I haven't dealt with that."

Krouse, who owns a liquor store and a restaurant that serves alcohol, said it didn't make sense for restaurants to serve liquor on Sundays, but not liquor stores.

The city council originally approved a charter ordinance allowing Sunday liquor sales, but residents successfully filed a protest petition. Rather than have a special election that would have cost $1,500, the council opted to let the ordinance die.

At that time, Krouse didn't want the city spending money on a special election, which Cranor said was commendable.

"I think he's to be applauded," Cranor said. "This will not be a special election."

If the council would have approved the charter ordinance Monday, the issue would have been left to the voters -- without the extra costs-- on the regular November ballot.

"It needs to go to the polls is what I feel," Cranor said before the council voted.

Krouse said some people he spoke with who signed the protest petition thought they were petitioning for absolutely no alcohol sales on Sundays.

Restaurants however, can serve on Sunday.

Mike Weston, who circulated petitions to stop the charter ordinance, read biblical passages to the council Monday.

He said the charter went against God and strayed from observing the Sabbath.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.