Residents are set to vote Nov. 5 on the “package sales by retailers of malt beverages and wine on Sundays between the hours of 12:30 and 11:30 p.m.,” according to a sample ballot provided by the city.
Dallas City Council voted 4-2 in March to allow residents to vote in a referendum on the issue. Mayor Pro Tem James Kelly and Ward Two Councilman Michael Cason voted against allowing a public vote.
Kelly said he has a Christian background and does not want retail sales to encroach on the Sabbath.
“We already have six days of [retail alcohol sales],” Kelly said.
He said he believes that alcohol plays a role in breaking down the family in ways ranging from abuse to neglect. This just adds another day for this to happen, he said.
“I know why the grocery stores want to sell it,” Kelly said.
He said the revenue it produces is not worth the cost.
“If it deters the family life then we are going backwards,” Kelly said.
Glynn Jenkins, spokesman for The Kroger Co.’s Atlanta Division, said Kroger supports Sunday sales because it offers its customers convenience and service.
“Over the last several years, many customers have repeatedly asked about purchasing beer and wine on Sundays,” Jenkins said in an email. “Shopping patterns have changed and, for some consumers, Sunday is the second largest spending day of the week.”
As of November 2012, residents of 197 local governments had approved Sunday sales and 33 had said no, according to the Georgia Food Industry Association.
Hiram was among the first cities in Georgia to approve Sunday sales in November 2011. However, in March residents of unincorporated Paulding voted to reject Sunday sales.
The election is scheduled for Nov. 5, and will be held in the city council chambers at Dallas City Hall.