Tuesday, October 19, 2010

It can’t come soon enough

November voting can’t come soon enough. With all of the political personal bashing candidates are doing it is hard to keep the issues in mind. There is one very important decision being put in front of the voters of Addison and Dallas this November. On the ballot, the decision to roll back the liquor blue laws, that were put in place after the turn of the century when prohibition was the rave of the day. The most confusing part is that there is no consistency within the state for who can sell liquor, beer and wine and who can’t. Several years ago Addison took a leadership role in allowing beer, wine and spirits to be sold in limited areas as well as being served in local restaurants. Addison has been a leader in attracting some fine restaurants to the area because of this leadership role.

Addison now faces another important decision. In a few weeks the voters will have a chance to modify the existing regulations and vote to allow beer and wine to be sold at retail elsewhere in the city beside from Inwood Road. It is our position at Mercy that we vote to allow this to happen. Our state liquor license allows us to sell wine by the bottle at retail however the local ordinance forbids this. It is a mere convenience to our guests who come in and try something and would like to take a bottle or two home. Right now we must send that guest somewhere else to find the wine or he might not be able to get it due to Mercy having an exclusive on that specific wine in our area.

Towns surrounding us all allow this convenience. Beer and wine are currently sold in grocery stores and convenience stores in our surrounding cities and towns and Dallas is about to vote for this in November as well. Should this pass in Dallas, as it appears there is huge support for this change, Addison will be the only town not allowing this convenience. The opponents state that crime will increase and more police will be needed because of the increase in liquor sales throughout the town. Experience proves this to just not be the case. One doesn’t have to look very far to see that crime has not increased in towns such as Plano or Grapevine simply because you can buy beer and wine in a grocery store.

There is a longer term economic development issue here as well. Addison is in dire need of a high end grocery stores such as Whole Foods or Central Market. None of these stores are willing to come into the town unless they can sell beer and wine. Nearly 10% of their sales are attributed to beer and wine in stores where they are allowed to sell it. This is a significant part of their business that they are not willing to give up. There is also the lingering threat that existing stores such as Tom Thumb and Sam’s Club may consider moving out if this doesn’t pass. For both chains, sales of beer and wine are significant where it can be sold.

Nowhere else in the country am I aware of the liquor laws as they currently are in Texas. Our state leads the country in putting people back to work as well as other key areas. Why should we have to live with liquor laws that have long out seen their day of effectiveness? This is an important issue of economic development and convenience for the residents of Addison and Dallas. We encourage you to overlook the personal bashing in this election that the media keeps streaming to us and look at important issues like this one that can affect our livelihoods and lives right here in Addison.

Glen Agritelley, owner