Boyle magistrates prohibit Sunday alcohol sales at Old Bridge

February 11, 2004|LIZ MAPLES

Despite speeches from Old Bridge residents in favor of Sunday alcohol sales at the golf course there, Boyle Fiscal Court magistrates passed a second reading of an ordinance that only allows sales Monday through Saturday.

They did so without much explanation, but during a heated discussion at the end of the meeting Magistrate Jim Ryan said he didn't feel he had enough time to review the issue before the first vote two weeks ago.

Golf course manager Bruce Brown apparently believed that the magistrates opposed Sunday sales because of the Christian Sabbath.

"I'm frustrated that religion is playing a part in this; that Jesus is playing a part in this," Brown said.

Earlier he told magistrates that they ought to look at Sunday sales as a means of good business. He said he believed that local government wanted people to come here, but that if golfers from Ohio and Tennessee, who work six days a week, couldn't come to Danville, play golf and drink beer on Sunday then they would find somewhere else to take their business.


Magistrate John Davis said that he had received calls from residents of Old Bridge neighborhood who opposed the Sunday sales.

Bob Brown, an Old Bridge resident, said that he didn't believe that the fiscal court should restrict sales based on Sunday being the Sabbath because it wasn't the Sabbath in all religions. He also said that the more rules imposed by the court increased the likelihood that the rules would be broken.

Magistrate John Hudson, who voted in favor of Sunday sales, said that he believed the court was imposing the beliefs of the minority on the majority of the Old Bridge precinct that approved alcohol sales at the golf course. "We have all the other businesses operating on Sundays ... some 24-hours a day selling cigarettes ... and the whole nine yards," Hudson said.

He continued, saying that he didn't believe the magistrates should restrict something that is allowed by Kentucky law.

The law states that the course could have Sunday sales, if it is approved by the local governing body. Fiscal Court was not required to set up an ordinance, but Judge-Executive Tony Wilder said he presented it as a proactive move.

No other magistrates offered an explanation about why they voted against Sunday sales.

Issue had not been on last meeting's agenda

This was the second reading of the ordinance. Magistrates first considered the ordinance two weeks ago. The Sunday sales clause was added late that Monday afternoon - before the Tuesday evening meeting on Jan. 27. The issue was not on the agendas mailed to magistrates or the media.

Ryan said he felt that it didn't give him enough time to properly consider the issue.

"It was confusing," he said.

As a result, he had inadvertently voted for Sunday sales on Jan. 27. He voted against it Tuesday.

Ryan made a motion that would prevent Wilder and the county staff from asking the court to consider anything that wasn't on the agenda on Friday when the packets are mailed to magistrates and the media.

The motion failed 4 to 2. Magistrates Martin G. Curtis and Phil Sammons and Wilder voted against it. Hudson and Ryan voted for it. Magistrate Donnie Coffman abstained, but later said he opposed the motion.

Hudson said he wanted to have more time to review issues before voting. Wilder said that being able to add issues and bills to the agenda on Monday was part of necessary flexibility required to run the county.

County Attorney Richard Campbell said that the original ordinance given to magistrates on Friday didn't have Sunday sales, but that on Monday afternoon the golf course owners said they would like to have it considered, so he added it.

During the discussion, which came at the end of a three-hour meeting, Curtis left. Ryan said that he wanted to object to Curtis' vote on the motion because he didn't stay for the entire discussion after the vote was taken.

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