Liquor option should be void

Published 9:47 am Thursday, September 25, 2008

It’s impossible to disagree with the logic of Proctorville Mayor Charles Stapleton or Village Council President Dale Burcham when it comes to a local alcohol option on the November ballot.

Those two men were part of Tuesday’s meeting with the Lawrence County Board of Elections, which dealt with protests regarding various alcohol related options on the ballot.

Stapleton explained to the board that one of the Clark’s Pump N Shops where liquor would be sold rests inside the village of Proctorville.

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However, the board mistakenly listed the store as being in a different precinct altogether, which would mean the people affected with have the issue decided by voters who don’t reside there.

That area of Rome Township was annexed by the village several years ago, but the annexation had not been noted by the board of elections.

That in itself is troubling, but it goes without saying that the issue simply is not valid.

“We are a small village on the Ohio River,” Stapleton said. “We don’t have (any) problems with alcohol up there, we don’t want (any) problems with alcohol up there. We want to be left alone.”

Although we do not support the mayor’s position on the issue of liquor sales, there can be no question that he and Burcham are correct in recognizing the people of their village must be able to have a vote on an emotional topic that affects them.

There were also concerns about the methods used to collect signatures for the ballot issue, which should be investigated. Maintaining credibility in the process of gathering petitions is critical to the democratic process.

But beyond that, this issue should be void because those affected will not even be able to make their voice heard.