City council speaks out on wet/dry vote

Photo by Emily Baker Yard signs throughout the city show support for the alcohol vote.
Photo by Emily Baker
Yard signs throughout the city show support for the alcohol vote.

Now that the alcohol petition has been filed, the wet/dry vote has once again become a hot topic in Barbourville. November’s City Council meeting was no exception. No sooner did the mayor open the floor for community input, than the city council members were each asked where they stood on the upcoming wet/dry vote.

Mayor David Thompson began by saying, “I’m totally neutral. I don’t drink, but it’s the voters’ right to make the choice.

Councilmember Wilma Barnes, as a non-drinker, says she has no problem having dinner at a restaurant that sells alcohol.

“That don’t offend me cause everyone has to answer for themselves,” she said. “I wish nobody drank, but they’re going to do it, and there’s not a whole lot we can do about it other than pray for them.”

Councilmember Sherman Lawson agreed.

“I don’t drink either, but if I did, I could see where the benefit would be. I’d rather have it controlled. Besides I’m looking ahead to my grandchildren’s future. I’m seeing where the taxes could help the city and the county, bringing in industry. If it’s regulated right, I don’t see anything wrong with it, but I don’t know how I’m going to vote until I go to the poll that day.”

Councilman Calvin Mannis geared his remarks towards the success of neighboring Corbin.

“Corbin brought in $750,000 in just the first quarter,” said Mannis. “This is taking money from Knox County and giving it to Corbin. Right now we just have to see what the public thinks, and at the moment, no one’s talking. Last time there was a lot of talk, mostly negative. This time, I’ve heard nothing.”

“I’m seeing people going down to Corbin every day, said Councilman Mike Johnson. “Our money’s going that way, and we could control it here.”

Councilman Ronnie Moore kept his comments down the middle.

“We’re elected by the people that like alcohol, as much as by the people who do not like alcohol. We have to represent the citizens of Barbourville that elected us. Should they vote it in, that’s when our responsibility begins. Until that time, like Sherman said, we all have one vote, just like everybody else.”

“He added, “I’m an elected official, and I will represent whatever the outcome of that election is.”

Councilman Jeremy Hicks kept his answer short, “We’re elected to govern this city, whatever the outcome.”

In other business:

• Mayor Thompson thanked and commended District 4 Magistrate Jason Lake for his assistance in road repairs in Dogtown, “It’s great when both the county and city can work together for the good of the community.”

• A surplus F120 pickup seized by city police will be auctioned online.

The Mills Garbage contract was renewed.