MONTICELLO, Ky. — Over the next few weeks, wet and dry forces in Wayne County will be positioning themselves to inform undecided locals about the pros and cons of alcohol sales.
Following the mid-week announcement of a November 3 date for the wet-dry election, several Wayne countians shared their opinions on the upcoming vote.
“We think this vote for alcohol sales is an economic decision for the future of Monticello and Wayne County,” said Todd McFarland, a spokesman for the Move Monticello Forward group. “We hope the city and county will look to the future and see the growth potential we have. This is a stepping stone in a path to the future of a growing community.”
While many progressives see alcohol sales as a way to move Wayne County forward, many clergyman in the area disagree.
“We need to stand and unite as Christians,” said Terry Munsey, Pastor of New Covenant Fellowship. “We don’t need legal alcohol in Monticello.”
Dale Rose, a well-known Wayne County pastor, agreed.
“We have things indelibly written on our minds from our childhood. One of my memories is when my dad was drunk at Christmas time,” Rose said. “We need to uphold family life enough to understand the impact of another drug upon our community. Alcohol is both a stimulant and depressant. Wisdom in Proverbs 23:29-35 shows the impact upon people physically, emotionally and psychologically. The argument that we always hear is the revenue for our community, without looking beyond to see the drain that it costs in extra law enforcement, court systems, social workers. Do we want this in our community for our children and grandchildren?”
Rose told WKYM and the Commonwealth Journal that part of his ministry has involved the study of alcoholism.
“About 40 percent of adult Americans have direct family experiences with alcohol abuse and alcoholism,” Rose said.
Marvin Bloch, former chairman of the American Medical Association Committee on Alcoholism, said, “Ours is a drug-oriented society, largely because of alcohol. Because of its social acceptance, alcohol is rarely thought of as a drug. But a drug it is, in scientific fact.”
In neighboring Pulaski County, the sale of alcohol became legal in the City of Somerset in 2012 and in the City of Burnside in 2013. Prior to that, Burnside became “moist” in 2004 — meaning restaurants could sell alcohol, but it was not available in package stores.
Both Somerset and Burnside have reported a positive economic impact from the sale of alcohol with little negative impact on law enforcement.
The wet-dry vote will be decided during the November 3 general election and anyone may register to cast their ballot until October 5 at the Wayne County Clerk’s Office.