Jun 5, 2014
Ours to Choose
* * UPDATED * * It’s not just the weather that’s too hot these days. The “wet-dry” issue in Faulkner County is also heating up and opinions are strong. The folks behind the initiative to “bring the issue to a vote of the people” will tell you the positive economic impact from alcohol taxes is...
It’s not just the weather that’s too hot these days. The “wet-dry” issue in Faulkner County is also heating up and opinions are strong.
The folks behind the initiative to “bring the issue to a vote of the people” will tell you the positive economic impact from alcohol taxes is worth changing Faulkner County from “private clubs only” to package stores on the corner, but we disagree.
However, that’s not the issue we have with this whole deal. We supported the project — championed by local businesspeople and taxpayers that eventually resulted in Conway’s private clubs (going “damp”). The reason was that people could then still choose to participate in consuming alcohol or not, depending on where they chose to go out to eat and enjoy themselves.
It’s quite a different matter when Big Business throws its influence around the way and Kum and Go are doing with this issue. Local citizens were caught completely off-guard to learn the plans that and Kum and Go have for our area; there’s been no publicity about the endeavor until now and the process is already well underway,
Kum and Go has now built its convenience stores all over Conway and one of ‘s highest grossing big box stores is located here (along with a second location). When they covered Conway with their stores, did they bother to inform the taxpayers — the proposed customers of these business — of their plans so the local community could have a clear discussion about what it wants and doesn’t want?
These companies share a stated goal of putting alcohol sales out front in their businesses, and they are paying to put this issue on the ballot with their deep-pocketed political activism.
We maintain that, given enough money, paid signature gatherers can always get enough signatures to put any referendum on the ballot, no matter the effect or whether the local residents truly have spoken up and asked for a change.
How could a regular citizenry without the benefit of all that money ever expect to have its voice heard? Local residents, who are the ones to be affected by the change, should alone make that decision.
The issue should be ours to choose without and Kum and Go’s outside interference.
UPDATED: We’ve been reminded, remember when local citizens and taxpayers approached about collecting signatures at their doors when we were promoting petition initiatives (against the private option was one of the more recent projects)? We were turned away with the excuse, ” doesn’t allow ‘political activities of that sort’ on its properties.”
Obviously sings a different tune when it comes to pushing their own “political activities” by collecting petition signatures at their doors. Is this the kind of Big Business Bullying you want in your community?