Letters To Editor – Feb. 7, 2008

Do Current Laws Really Represent Wishes Of Voting Majority

Dear Editor:

  Beer-Beer-Beer-THE PEOPLE SPOKE!

  I have watched the beer barreling debate form the beginning and THE PEOPLE SPOKE. I would now like to take a minute of your time to make a few objective observations. I must first tell you that I did not sign the petition for the vote and I did not vote in the beer balloting, but I do vote in other elections. I don’t care for beer, although I do like a little Canadian blend now and then—only at home. (This letter does not speak for or against any particular business in our county.)

  My concern has nothing to do with beer and liquor. It is about what has happened with the beer referendum that passed two to one in an election. Two thirds of the people who voted in our county voted to allow beer to be sold in our county. The ballot said nothing about selling beer on Sunday; selling beer close to schools and churches; or whether the beer should be hot or cold, or sold at public gatherings.

  Now that we are going to have beer in our county, two groups of elected public officials are deciding that the people who spoke do not really  have a voice. The ordinances that are going into effect do not speak to the sixty-six percent of people who voted “yea”—the ordinances are favoring the one-third who voted “nay”. This does not speak against the people who voted against the beer referendum—I simply want to remind our public officials that when people vote, they should be heard.

  A county or city ordinance is a county or city law. That means that when you pass an ordinance, you are making a law. Make your laws deal with realistic rules. There are only two issues that you have dealth with—where beer can be sold, and whether it should be sold hot or cold—you missed on both of these issues.

  On the first issue—where beer can be sold. The only restriction seems to be the distance beer can be sold from a church. This one is really silly. You are saying that a merchant can’t sell beer 100 feet from a building that is not occupied most of the time. It would be easy to remedy that issue—don’t allow beer to be sold when churches are having regularly scheduled services. I say, don’t sell beer at all on Sunday. You might also restrict beer sales between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Wednesdays.

  Let me clear myself of ridicule on the last paragraph. A church is a building made for worship. I don’t worhip the building. I worship with people who come inside the building—the Church then becomes a place of Worship and should be respected while I am there. I don’t intend to get into the Philosophy of Christianity with this statement. Many will disagree with me. However, we are now dealing with civil law.

  On the second issue—sell beer hot or cold. This one is also, very silly. Why waste the time checking on this? If the beer is not cold when it is bought, it will only take a few minutes until it gets cold. Don’t cause people to drive down the highway to get beer that is cold. I believe, as most thinking people will, that this can cause a danger to the public.

  Gentlemen be fair. Do not let your personal feelings and the influence of fellow church people cause you to look past the wishes of the majority of your constitutents. Don’t make your own law based on your own beliefs—follow the mandate of the people who put you into office. They will vote again in a few years. Let the majority of the people who voted for you and who voted in the beer referendum have what they asked for—if they abuse the law, change it.

  Beer and liquor are not the evil demons—the demons are the people who abuse it. Don’t make ordinances based on what you think people will do. Beer has been in Yalobusha County since there has been beer in Mississippi. When I was teaching in Charleston, my wife and I would pass teen beer parties on the Boat Landing Road when we came home from games, and we retired in 1999. Beer has been coming from Lafayette, Grenada, and Panola Counties for many years.

  The hard working people who voted in the beer election are, for the most part, good people. Although I don’t care for beer myself, I know people—good church-going people—who like to go home after work and have a beer, relax, and spend time with their families—they are not all drunks.

  It is very simple to change a city or county ordinance—much easier than changing a state or federal law. Allow the majority of citizens who voted for you, and for beer in our county, to have what they told you they wanted. Let them buy cold beer and go home. If there is a church close by, don’t sell beer while church is in session. Don’t sell beer close to a church on Sunday and Wednesday nights. Gentlemen, do the right thing and change your ordinances.


THE PEOPLE SPOKE.
 
 /s/Ernest Kirkpatrick
  531 Huckleberry Lane
  Water Valley, MS
  Yalobusha County Citizen
  who does not drink and drive

 

County Road 436 Is Personal Dump For Uncaring Motorists    

The trash on Highway 436 South is getting downright trashy again. Apparently the ‘people’ who throw trash out their vehicle windows cannot read or do not subscribe to this newspaper. I, by myself, am trying to keep one-half mile of Highway 436 clear of trash but there is an occasional jerk that uses the highway as his/her personal dump. Well I have news for these folks. I plan to continue picking up their trash and pick up after them like their Mother apparently had to do when they were younger. Can you imagine what these ‘people’s’ homes and yards look like? My guess is that they are trying to make our highways look exactly like their homes and yards so that they can feel like they are home all the time.

For everyone’s information, I appeared in front of the Board of Supervisors several months back and alerted them of the trash situation on Highway 436. What I got from them was that would look into it and try getting something done about it. Well, they (The Supervisors) haven’t accomplished a thing. What do they do? I brought to their attention that Grenada County uses the folks they have incarcerated to help with their trash problem. I asked why Yalobusha County couldn’t do the same thing. The answer I got was something about State prisoners and blah, blah, blah. We’ll look into it.

I guess looking into it means doing nothing at all because they sure haven’t done anything to this date. The only thing the Board accomplished was to ‘brush’ me off. I want to know the reason for not doing anything as the highway is back to being trashy. I want to know exactly what their plan is to solve this outrageous problem.

What they have now is a financial windfall from beer sales, which they were so adamantly against, and maybe they can use those monies to not only solve the trash problem on 436 but also repaint the dividing lines on the road. In the daytime you can barely see the lines, at night you have to strain your eyes to see them, and if it rains, the lines disappear.

In closing, I want to see their meetings placed on a schedule and I would like to see that schedule published. I may want to attend.


Sincerely,

Gene Stella
10904 CR 436

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