May 2, 2014
Exactly how many arguments do proponents of beer and wine sales need to create, and how many times do each of those arguments need to be proven wrong before they understand that they are simply pushing something for selfish reasons?
Let’s forget for a moment the cowardly path chosen to get the beer and wine sales referendum on the ballot. There are many other points to make here.
First on the list is the seemingly regular argument being made for the passage of the referendum that goes something like this: Well, other communities get to sell it.
It amazes us that actual adults are using this to try and convince voters they should approve the referendum. Either these people have never been parents, or they have forgotten what they once told their own children: “Just because your friends do it doesn’t mean you have to do it … if they jumped off a bridge, would you, too?”
Next is the fact that each and every economic impact from selling beer and wine has been proven tremendously wrong. In fact, the resulting costs to communities that sell beer and wine is usually higher than what the sales bring in.
In addition, the rumors of any food store chain or other businesses coming to Bladen County only IF the referendum passes is hooey, plain and simple. There simply aren’t enough people in any of the county’s communities to support another grocery store, regardless if beer and wine is sold or not.
In short, any and all economic positives from beer and wine sales being bandied about are being exaggerated and embellished. In short, they are lies, plain and simple.
Also falling into the myth category are claims that NOT selling beer and wine throughout the county will only result in higher numbers of drinking and driving incidents. Anyone with a lick of sense knows that’s currently not the case, so why would be after May 6 if the referendum fails?
It won’t be.
Any finally, the fact that the referendum is open to voters throughout the county — including those in communities where beer and wine is already being sold — is a travesty. Residents of Elizabethtown, White Lake, Clarkton and East Arcadia now allow some form of beer and/or wine sales, so why should they get the right to force it on the rest of the county?
And taking that further, as a recent letter-writer did, if the referendum fails, do those areas also lose the ability to sell beer and/or wine? We think they should.
Which brings us back to the original jaundiced eye cast toward the path chosen for getting this referendum on the ballot — which was to remove an attempt at getting signatures on a petition in Bladenboro and instead going to the county commissioners for a county-wide vote (which required no signatures, only a majority of commissioners approving it).
Commissioners did the right thing by letting the people decide. We just hope the people also do the right thing and vote “Against.”