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Posted: January 29, 2009 7:09 p.m.

Our thoughts...Liquor for Social Circle

The city of Social Circle is an example of what old-time Georgia living was and is about.

 It has one stop light, and if you blink twice you might miss it. If you visit, you best follow the speed limit restrictions.

 This little city, which sometimes reminds us of the old Peter Sellers movie "The Mouse That Roared," boasts one of the finest school systems in the state, the Blue Willow Inn restaurant that has become one of the major tourist attractions in the state and also serves some darn good home cooked food, a downtown that like other small towns is struggling but still is a good place to meet your neighbors and to exchange pleasantries with visitors, a government that has a positive vision for the future and is not afraid to stand up to the big boy municipalities that surround them, a growing and thriving Boys and Girls Club to serve its youth, and a little downtown restaurant that serves breakfast and lunch and is where all the locals meet at to share their ideas on solving the world’s problems.

 But, like other cities both large and small this peaceful, idyllic city’s way of life is being threatened by the worsening worldwide economic crisis.

 To counter the loss of revenue because of business closures and foreclosures, the city fathers and interested residents have been trying to attract upscale restaurants to come and enjoy the ambiance of the city.

 These restaurants would shore up the tax base and would also begin to attract other businesses to the city that would feed off their success; these new businesses would also boost the tax base of the city.

 There is a problem, though. It’s not that the restaurants do not want to come to the city — they do, but they will not come unless they can serve liquor by the drink. Serving drinks is a major revenue producer for these restaurants.

  So, city leaders have set a ballot referendum to be held March 17 asking residents whether to allow liquor to be served in restaurants.

 This is a tightly written ordinance that has strict controls backed by a strong Social Circle police force.

 We know this is a touchy subject for some folks because of either religious beliefs or personal beliefs.

 We respect those beliefs and you certainly have a right not to go to a restaurant that serves liquor if that is your belief.

  But, if you want to ensure your way of life — which includes a great school system and a strong police force — a way of life that is envied by others, we would urge you to vote yes for the March 17 referendum.

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