Archive for Monday, August 24, 2009

Sunday liquor to be on ballot

A bottle of Grey Goose vodka sits on the counter at Mary's Retail Liquor. In May 2008, the Tonganoxie City Council voted to allow the sale of Alcohol on Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day.

A bottle of Grey Goose vodka sits on the counter at Mary's Retail Liquor. In May 2008, the Tonganoxie City Council voted to allow the sale of Alcohol on Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day.

August 24, 2009, 9:13 p.m.

Updated: August 25, 2009, 3:59 p.m.

The Tonganoxie City Council unanimously voted to put the fate of Sunday liquor sales in the hands of the city residents to finally put the matter to rest.

They didn’t have a choice.

During the council’s regular meeting Monday night, Mike Kelly, the city’s attorney, informed the council that current Kansas law requires the special election.

Kansas Statute 41-2911 states that, “upon submission of a valid petition calling for an election pursuant to this subsection, the city governing body shall call a special election to be held not later than 45 days after submission of the petition unless a citywide primary or general election is to be held within 90 days after submission of the petition.”

On Aug. 17, the Leavenworth County Clerk’s Office found that a petition submitted had the required 101 signatures needed to call the election.

Councilmember Jim Truesdell, who has spoken out against Sunday liquor sales, said he did want the people to finally make the decision.

“I hate to spend the money … I don’t think we should and I never did, but it looks like we don’t have a choice anyway,” he said.

The election is scheduled for Sept. 22 and is estimated to cost $3,500. The money for the election will come out of the city’s general fund.

The ordinance calling for the special election passed with a 4-0 vote. Councilmember Paula Crook was absent from the meeting.

The ordinance also contained the ballot question. The ordinance asks “Within the city of Tonganoxie, shall sale at retail of cereal malt beverage in the original package be allowed on any Sunday, except Easter, between the hours of 12 noon and 8 p.m. and shall the sale at retail of alcoholic liquor in the original package be allowed on any Sunday, except Easter, between the hours of 12 noon and 8 p.m. and on Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day within the City of Tonganoxie?”

Leavenworth County Clerk Janet Klasinski said Tuesday that voter registration for this election will be open until Sept. 8.

During the meeting representatives from both sides of the issue spoke.

Mary Krouse, owner of Mary's Retail Liquor, supported the election because many of her customers wanted to be able to buy their alcohol in Tonganoxie on Sunday.

“People are tired of having to take their money elsewhere,” she said. “The sales from our three liquor stores, the grocery stores and the convenience store would be bringing tax dollars to the City of Tonganoxie instead of going to Basehor or outside of the city.”

On the other side of the issue, Dennis Bixby said the sale of liquor on Sunday could result in an increase of alcohol-related traffic accidents and fatalities in the city.

“If it passes because you want a little tax revenue, I want to be there when you make the phone call that nobody wants to get,” he said. “I want you to look the people in the eye and say hey we passed Sunday liquor sales and I’m sorry, but your son or daughter, mother, brother, sister, whatever, is a casualty of that.”

Councilmember Burdel Welsh told the public and the council that in his 34 years of law enforcement he has never seen an increase in alcohol-related traffic accidents result from Sunday liquor


kansanjayhawk 7 years, 7 months ago

We need to stand up for community values and say no to the liquor stores. Sunday should be kept as it has always been in tonganoxie free of packaged beer and liquor sales. We need to put God first and "remember the sabbath day to keep it holy". This is just one small step we can take to stand up for traditional family values and just say no to further moral decline. A no vote is a principled vote against the death, destruction, and evils associated with drinking and drunkeness. There is plenty of liquor available Monday thru Saturday in Tonganoxie.


SWM23 7 years, 7 months ago

To: Jason2007 & kansasjayhawk: If tax money going into the city coffers means nothing to you and you think that the liquor sales in town thru out the week is ok than your argument for morality and family values doesn't hold water. Apparently you don't care if people drink or not! (Morality and family values exist and should exist every day of the week.) Just don't interfere with persons ability to attend church on Sunday and direct their money into the church coffers.

Being able to keep a citizens sales in this town on Sunday is the issue. Not family values, morality or liquor store profits. There has been no push to stop liquor sales in town, not by the drink on premises or off premise purchases the other 6 days of the week. I haven't seen the churches creating an uproar when restaurants apply for city liquor licenses when those restaurants are located close to churches and schools.

You both believe that if people want to drink they can just spend their money elsewhere on Sunday. So purchasing alcohol on or off premises is not the problem. Thus no morality or family value problem there. Keeping sales out of our town on Sunday apparently makes you feel that this one day of being an example makes you a better Christian and than able to spout about morals and values ... I say it makes you appear more of a hypocrite. Respectfully, SWM23


mymonkey 7 years, 7 months ago

I find the "morality" argument pretty funny. Check out the town during the day and you see the same "moralist" car at various restaurants eating off of his sheep. Nothing changes. Sheepeople stay the same.


kansanjayhawk 7 years, 6 months ago

Name calling is really not the issue. The bottom line is this: add an additional day of sales and get additional consumption of alcohol which leads to additional problems associated with increased consumption. Read the National HIghway Safety Adminstrations reports on the increase in consumption and associated problems after Sunday sales were added in New Mexico. There is hypocrisy all the way around when it comes to the laws dealing with Alcohol, voting NO is one way to take a stand on what our community will not allow, that is packaged sales of liquor on Sunday.


HCKJR 7 years, 6 months ago

Just what is it with the “family values” mantra? You don’t seem to have a problem sending our sons and daughters to war to “defend our freedoms” yet you then want to tell everyone we have to live by your ultra conservative religious values and call it “community values”. Please remember that one of those freedoms says we cannot have laws forcing religion on the population nor can we keep the population from free exercise of their religion. This is not a contradiction. If the liquor store is open on Sunday – anyone who believes it is okay to purchase on Sunday can; anyone whose religious beliefs prohibit purchasing liquor on Sunday stays out of the store. Besides it is not the purchase, but the consumption of the alcohol, that causes problems. Frankly, it seems pretty inconsistent to me that something is okay to do on Friday but must be banned on Sunday. It is also inconsistent that we would close the store on Sunday but not Saturday or after sundown on Friday, for that matter. What about Jews or 7th day Adventists who observe the Sabbath on Saturday instead of Sunday. My own personal “family value” is to have respect for other peoples’ religious and cultural differences. I have never found that to be a threat to what I believe. If I believed purchasing or consuming alcohol was immoral you would not find me in a liquor store no matter what day it was open.


kansanjayhawk 7 years, 6 months ago

You don't address the issue of increased consumption at all! If the liquor is sold an additional day studies have shown it increases consumption. That will increase all of the social problems associated with alchol and liquor.


SWM23 7 years, 6 months ago

But kansasjayhawk you miss the point. It is not the matter of an additional day. Sunday sales will not increase the consumption. People who want to purchase on Sunday will. They will just take the purchase out of Tonganoxie thereby denying citizens the ability to keep their tax dollars in their own community. Also keeping them on the road longer thereby increasing the chance of traffic accidents which you seem to be fixated on. (Again I understand why in your case even though your case was not alcohol related. Try to keep that detail in mind and try to stay more objective.) Respectfully, SWM23


kansanjayhawk 7 years, 6 months ago

apparently you have not read the study from New Mexico indicating that Sunday sales does, in fact, increase consumption. This is a bad idea for the people of Tonganoxie! It only benefits a few liquor stores and will not have an overall positive effect on our community. There is no reason for us to approve this proposed change.


SWM23 7 years, 6 months ago

You seem fond of spouting statistics in New Mexico & I’m not sure where you got your info. I have not been able to find the specific study you keep referring to so I have to assume the following is the study in question. The info comes from a web site related to liquor sales: A lot of info & references are articles. Alcohol Blue Laws Don’t Save Lives. Abolition of the Blue Law in New Mexico that had prevented the sale of packaged alcoholic beverages on Sundays was followed by a drop in both alcohol-related traffic crashes on and in alcohol-related traffic fatalities that day of the week. Consider the facts: The proportion of alcohol-related traffic fatalities on Sundays in New Mexico averaged 60% in the five years before the legalization of package store sales, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That proportion dropped to 47% in the five years following legalization, a decrease of over one-fifth. The number of alcohol-related Sunday crashes averaged 502 for several years before the law went into effect but dropped to 438 for several years afterward, according to the Division of Government Research at the University of New Mexico. There were 27 alcohol-related traffic fatalities on Sundays before the law went into effect, a number that dropped to 15 by the year 2000, according to the Division of Government Research. Reference: “Blue law” saves lives, study says. UPI, October 6, 2006; National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA); Division of Government Research, University of New Mexico; Sunday Alcohol Sales, Drunk Driving & Underage Drinking. I also found this; New Mexico Sunday alcohol study debunked by Jason Pye on February 25, 2009. Opponents of Sunday alcohol sales always cite the New Mexico study that supposedly shows a relationship between Sunday sales and fatal automobile accidents. Actually, the New Mexico study has some serious flaws, as pointed out last year by Jason Rudbeck, an economist at the University of Georgia, "The methodology in the New Mexico study was flawed for several reasons. One reason was that the study did not account for an increase in the speed limit during the same period Sunday sales were allowed. Changes occurred in New Mexico that affected all accidents, not only alcohol-related accidents. The study also did not control for officer subjectivity over alcohol involvement, which is common in the literature. It also should be noted that there were an average of only four more fatal accidents on Sundays in the five-year window after the ban repeal, compared to before. An increase so small can hardly be attributable to Sunday sales, and should not be considered sound science in any policy debate.


SWM23 7 years, 6 months ago

Additionally, if the study had been extended past the year 2000, the authors would have found no relationship between Sunday packaged alcohol sales and alcohol-related crashes. If Sunday sales truly caused more accidents, then the relationship would be stable over time." You may want to think again if you’re using the New Mexico study as a basis for your opposition.

But looking at the National Highway and Safety website I found these statistics from a 2007 study. In 2007, an estimated 12,998 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes1 – a decline of 3.7 percent from the 13,491 fatalities in 2006. The fatality rate, per 100 million vehicle miles of travel (VMT),2 decreased to 0.43 – the lowest on record. Thirty-two States had decreases in the number of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities in 2007, as compared to 2006.

The study can be found out at: I counted only 13 states that still ban alcohol on Sundays.(but that may not be correct as Ohio & Texas are working on the issue) so I think it a rational assumption is that selling on Sunday does not increase alcohol related crashes. At least no reliable study has proven that as fact. Respectfully, SWM23


hricane23 7 years, 6 months ago


Good work, sir. I'm glad you're on my team.

Respectfully, Hricane23


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