Disappointed. That’s the only word that really describes my feelings and that of so many others in Lumpkin County after hearing that our County Commission voted NOT to allow county residents to vote on Sunday beer and wine sales.
Last year, the Georgia Legislature voted to let Georgia citizens determine if their communities should have Sunday liquor sales. The exact wording of Senate Bill 10 is that “the governing authority of the county or municipality, as appropriate, may authorize package sales by a retailer of malt beverages and wine on Sundays between the hours of 12:30 P.M. and 11:30 P.M., if approved by referendum...”
The key wording here is not that the governing authority may authorize beer and wine sales...what our commissioners failed to focus on are the words, “if approved by referendum.” We citizens of Lumpkin have been denied the opportunity to that referendum – that chance to say Yes or No.
When the legislature passed the Sunday liquor sales bill, Georgia joined the 47 other states that okay Sunday beer and wine sales. Since the bill was approved, neighboring Hall, Forsyth, Dawson, and even the city of Dawsonville have allowed or are allowing their citizens the right to vote on the referendum.
So the question is, “Commissioners, why can’t you allow Lumpkin voters vote on this issue”? Yes, this is a republic and you were elected as representatives of the county, but, in that role, you need to listen to the will of ALL the people, and more importantly, abide by Georgia law.