While there appears no formal organized effort against the referendum exists, a ballot campaign committee, “Yes for Douglas County” was organized for the sole purpose of advocating for the passage of the Sunday sales question, said committee chairman Richard Segal of Douglasville.
He said his sole purpose for supporting the Sunday sales referendum is “to keep dollars in Douglas County.”
He pointed out that keeping al-cohol sales illegal on Sunday in one place does not stop people from buying in another.
“Sunday sales are now legalized in many areas around us,” Segal said. “And people go where they can buy on Sunday.”
He contends that since Sunday alcohol sales became legal in so many other areas around Douglas County, it has hurt local retailers through lost sales.
“Sunday sales are not increasing the amount of consumption, nor alcohol-related accidents,” Segal said.
Josh Buice, pastor at Pray’s Mill Baptist Church, had addressed his concerns about the expansion of alcohol sales and Sunday sales before the Douglasville City Council and Douglas County Commission.
He said he opposes the referendums because of both personal convictions and safety concerns for the community.
While he has made his position clear, he said he had not pushed his congregation to vote in a certain way.
“My main concern about any expansion of alcohol sales in Douglas County is from my perspective a safety issue,” Buice said. “It would be foolish of me to hold the entire community to my personal convictions.”
Buice, who grew up in Douglas County, said he feels expanding alcohol sales would “change the landscape of the community” from a place people would want to raise their families to more of a “pub” or “party” community.
The referendum, he said, goes far beyond religious convictions and he believes expanding alcohol sales will not make roads safer.
“I’m opposed to it due to personal convictions and safety concerns for the community and for my family who travel these roads,” he said.
A Closer Look
Early voting began Monday at the Douglas County Courthouse at 8700 Hospital Drive from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and runs through Nov. 2. A single Saturday early voting day is scheduled for the courthouse Oct. 27 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Courthouse is the only early voting location at which city of Douglasville voters may cast ballots for Sunday alcohol sales. City voters must also remember to ask for two ballots at the polls to vote for the Sunday alcohol sales referendum, county election officials said.
- City of Douglasville Ballot Question – Retail Package Sales
“Shall the governing authority of Douglasville, Georgia be au-thorized to permet and regulate packages sales by retailers of malt beverages, wine and distilled spirits on Sundays between the hours of 12:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.?”
- Douglas County Ballot Questions – Retail Package Sales
“Shall the governing authority of Douglas County, Georgia be authorized to permit and regulate package sales on Sundays by retailers of package malt bever-ages and wine between the hours of 12:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.?”
- Douglas County Ballot Question – On Premise Sales “By the Drink”
“Shall the governing authority of Douglas County, Georgia be authorized to permit and regulate Sunday sales of distilled spirits or alcoholic beverages for beverage purposes by the drink?”