City resident Sam Burrell Sr., who is a former Floyd County commissioner and retired school principal, said there’s no urgent need to add a seventh day for purchase.
He said he’s witnessed the problems alcohol can cause for families, the community and to drinkers’ health. He also recounted his opposition, as a member of the Temperance League, to earlier votes and asked the board not to take action.
“I maintain we should reserve one day, one day, when there is no alcohol,” Burrell said, adding later that “I never have accepted the idea that making alcohol easier to get would make people drink less.”
The board, however, unanimously accepted the first reading of an ordinance that would allow Sunday alcohol sales at grocery, convenience and liquor stores between 12:30 p.m. and 11 p.m.
It would not go into effect unless voters approve it during the Nov. 8 city election.
A second reading of the ordinance and a resolution calling for the vote are scheduled for the commission’s June 20 meeting.
“With a lot of people, this is a very sensitive issue,” said Commissioner Jamie Doss, who chairs the city’s Alcohol Control Commission. “We are not taking a position, but we (the ACC) fully support a public vote.”
City Clerk Joe Smith said no public hearing is required before the board’s scheduled votes, but residents may call his office by June 16 to be placed on the agenda as a guest speaker.
Also on Monday, the board postponed action on a revision to the sign ordinance recommended by the Rome-Floyd County Planning Commission.
City Attorney Andy Davis said city and county attorneys must tweak the language to ensure it will hold up in court. Rome Mayor Evie McNiece asked the city’s redevelopment committee to review the document after the legal vetting.
Local businessmen Roger Wade and Spencer Brewer reminded the board that they and other appointees spent months crafting the proposed regulations.