Alcohol Petition Certified

The decision to allow the sale of beer and wine in grocery and convenience stores in Angelina County is now in the hands of voters.

Thursday afternoon enough signatures on the petition were verified.  The measure will be placed on the November 7th ballot for consideration.

Petition organizer Oscar Dillahunty has said one of the biggest challenges in getting the required 7,500 signatures has been, "getting to the rural registered voters at a location where they can come to."

Petition supporters contend Angelina County will get an economic boost from alcohol sales.  But some voters disagree.  Some opponents say instead of boosting the local economy a wet county eventually becomes less attractive to other types of retail business.  They are also afraid a wet county would lead to higher levels of accidents and more violence.

Some estimates show alcohol sales in Angelina County could bring in as much as $15 million a year.  Proponents also say the financial impact would reach neighboring counties.

Jack Williams, the organizer of Angelina County Citizens For A Better Community has said, "We have no idea where they got the $15 million sales revenue that will be generated, where they got those figures, whether they are accurate or in any way if they represent the truth."  ACCBC wants the answer to that question and they also want to know how revenue from alcohol sales would be spent in Angelina County.

At issue:

  • Whether to allow beer and wine at stores for off-premise consumption.
  • Whether to allow the sale of mixed beverages at restaurants and bars, without requiring patrons to have a membership at each establishment.

We will have continuing coverage of this story on the East Texas News and