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Alcohol sales votes
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The Covington-Newton County Chamber of Commerce has asked the board of commissioners to place the sale of alcohol by the drink for unincorporated Newton County on the ballot in 2012.

The last time this was on the ballot, in 1998, it was voted down narrowly by 53 percent of the vote.

The commissioners decided against putting the vote back on the ballot back in 2010.

The chamber believes that the public's opinion on the matter may have shifted in the 14 years since the last vote. Changes to the board should also see the vote make the ballot this year.

This change, like other proposed changes to local alcohol ordinances, such as Sunday package sales, have been met with their share of adversity.

For its part, the chamber supports alcohol by the drink, but Chamber President Hunter Hall has stated the chamber has no official position on Sunday sales.

On that note, Sunday package sales will be on the ballot in November for Covington.

Primary arguments against these bills usually cite safety concerns and fears the changes laws will lead to an upswing in drunk drivers. Sunday sales have also caused a stir among religious groups.

Proponents of these ordinances cite the money these changes will bring in tax dollars and the new restaurants that might give the county a look if they are able to sell alcohol.

The Covington News urges county commissioners to put personal agendas aside on this divisive issue and put it on the ballot. Let the people of our great county have their voice.