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TUESDAY, AUGUST 2, 2005
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EDITORIAL

Decatur City Council shows practical side

If Decatur is going to sell alcoholic beverages, it makes no sense to deprive beer drinkers of their draft quaffs. Thus, after 21 years of being wet, the city seems about to get draft beer.

Gov. Bob Riley signed the bill allowing the City Council to make draft beer legal, and it appears members will do so shortly. Councilmen Ray Metzger and Gary Hammon said they expect the resolution to be on the Aug. 15 agenda.

The governor also signed a bill that allows the council to call for a voter referendum on Sunday sales.

While Decatur is a city in which many people are bitterly opposed to alcohol, forbidding sales on Sunday is doing nothing but costing the city tax revenue.

A tax-conscious council apparently is looking at that yet- to- be-determined revenue in asking for the legislation. Hopefully, council members will set a referendum as soon as it is practical to do so.

Most of us like to think of our city as an idyllic small town in which we can shut out the world. In reality, Sunday sales are at our doorstep.

The final authority on Sunday sales, of course, will be voters, just as it was in 1984 when the city legalized alcoholic sales.

Both council members and the mayor, and members of the legislative delegation who introduced the bills, could have engaged in obfuscation and killed the bills. Neither did, even on such an emotional and politically sensitive issue. The issues are lost tax revenue and convenience, both legitimate.

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