I am writing a brief letter today concerning the legal sale of alcohol in the Marshall County.
In 1976, Marshall County voted on the issue of legal sales of alcohol. In that vote the “Drys” won by some 1,000 votes. In 1981-82, another campaign for legal sales of alcohol was held in our county. Sam Harvey, of The Advertiser Gleam, showed me the history of how the “Wets” were getting closer to winning. The “Drys,” with a great organized effort, won by some 2,900 votes in this campaign.
The local option bill became law in 1984. This law would permit a city of 8,000 in a dry county to vote on legal sales. Guntersville became the first city that year, by a vote of its citizens, to adopt legal sales of alcohol.
By the way, before local option became law, several pastors from Marshall County visited with Gov. George Wallace in Montgomery. We requested that he would please veto this option bill. He promised to do so, but it never reached the Senate before they adjourned. It became law.
Now, with local option, Arab, Guntersville, Albertville and Boaz have all voted for and approved the legal sale of alcohol. All of these cities, with the exception of Boaz, now have approved Sunday sales of alcohol. This was all done by a vote of the people.
Since August of this year, a law signed by Gov. Ivey will permit a city already wet to call for a vote on Sunday sales of alcohol. This issue can be voted on by the citizens, or the mayor and city council can decide this issue themselves. If Boaz chose to do this without a vote of its citizens, it would be the first time ever in our county.
There is an old saying, “Let the people vote.”
Finally, I wish to commend [the leaders] of Boaz as you work to help your city to grow and to move forward. I do not live in Boaz but enjoy visiting here on numerous occasions. May this city grow along with all of Marshall County. My only suggestion to you who lead in Boaz is to “let the people vote.”
Willis B. Kelly