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Hill Country Living

Who Is Really In Charge? This Is Your Town…Own It

By Coulter Fussell

It’s been three or four weeks since I’ve written about the new beer ordinance and I figure it’s time to talk about that again. Wait! Wait! Stick with me, people. Don’t skip ahead to Tillatoba News just yet. 

Look, I don’t want to have to write about the beer ordinance again. I really don’t. I want to write about my kids, my cat, and how come my Super Sonic Cheeseburger is all of a sudden coming sans pickles. 

Talking about beer is boring to me. I don’t even really like beer. And my husband, as I’ve mentioned several times before in this column, is employed by the owners of Yalobusha Brewing Co. as a brewer, working alongside Water Vallians Willie Fox, Tony Balzola, and John Horner. And you know what they talk about? All day? Beer.

So, believe me when I say I’d love to change the subject. But it doesn’t matter if I don’t want to talk about beer anymore or if I don’t like beer. Because they like it. And other people I know like it. And people I don’t know like it. And people who come through town like it. So, it’s not about me and my personal specific feelings toward beer anymore. It’s about us, as a whole, collectively, together. It’s about what is economically best for Water Valley. 

But I’m aware that it really doesn’t matter what I say because I’m not a native Water Vallian. I have no doubt that after living my entire life here in Water Valley and being buried up there in Blackmur Cemetery, if I have no loved ones left to write my headstone, then it would surely wind up saying something like “Here Lies Coulter Fussell…She’s Not From Here.”

I have been made aware over and over (and over) again that being from here is A-number-1 the most important aspect of a person. All else falls to the wayside in light of whether you were raised in Water Valley so this means I’m working at a severe disadvantage.

But you know who’s not? You know whose opinion does matter here? Yours! You. All of you that are from here. I’m referring to my friends from here that I hang out (and drink beer) with who say “Man, I wish we had a place to go see some music.” The business owners who say to me, “another restaurant on Main Street would really help me out. It would help us all out.”

All the emails and messages of support I get from the business community and regular citizens every time I write a column criticizing the beer ordinance. Those are what count! Your words mean a million times more than mine! I could write 50 more columns about this but it wouldn’t mean as much as a one sentence Letter To the Editor from you.

Ask yourself: Why did the city do this without asking? Why would the city want to limit beer sales but leave liquor and wine wide open? An ordinance like this is some sort of attempt to control people so who are they trying to control? Who, specifically, is the target since there are exceptions made to the ordinance? If I figure out the answer to that, will I be comfortable with it? 

If you want a new restaurant in Water Valley or a bar to go see music, watch the game and get some x-tra hot wings with ranch and celery sticks then you don’t have to make a quarter million dollar investment. You don’t have to get the licenses, buy the building, bring it up to code, hire the staff, take the risk. All you have to do is help adjust the beer ordinance.   

All you have to do is tell someone that you don’t like it. Tell the Herald or the aldermen or the mayor. After that, someone else will come along and build the restaurant for you.

This is your town. Own it.



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