POSTED: Sunday, April 26, 2009 - 4:34pm
UPDATED: Thursday, April 8, 2010 - 4:22am
SMITH COUNTY - Both sides of the Smith County alcohol debate have been going back and forth for weeks now., but starting tomorrow, early voting finally begins.
Before you survey arguments on either side, it's important to look at what they're fighting for.
1) Whether or not to allow alcohol to be consumed off-premise. Meaning you could buy alcohol in J.P. Precinct Four and take it home.
2) Whether or not to allow drinking at restaurants in J.P. Precinct Four without having to buy a membership.
These two propositions have two groups all fired up.
Starting with the keep Precinct Four Dry Committee, who says they want to keep what they call the "sin industry" out of the county.
They say allowing alcohol to be sold in this area will not cut anyone's taxes and instead alcohol will be more accessible.
They say it will increase demand on law enforcement and degrade the community.
KETK spoke to Tyler attorney Ken Good who said he believes the alcohol could be detrimental to the county.
"Anytime you're in an economic downturn, those types of industries come in and poach and try to take advantage and we just got to turn them back," Mr. Good says.
Switching sides now to those in favor of the sale of alcohol.
The Smith County Citizens for Economic Growth is leading the effort.
Many leaders of this group are business owners in J.P. Precinct Four, and they say its about economics, convenience and customer choice.
"People are driving through here everyday going 30 miles to the other side of the line to buy a case of beer why not buy it right here and keep the tax money right here in Smith County?" Andy Osborne says.