Sunday, July 27, 2008

Ashboro Will Decide LBD Issue on Tuesday

Ashboro may be a bellwether for Boone on the liquor-by-the-drink issue this coming Tuesday, so we'll be watching the returns with heightened interest. Ashboro, by the way, is the largest municipality left in N.C. that allows no alcoholic beverages whatsoever, not even beer and wine.

The Greensboro N&R has a big article up today on the battle. A few excerpts, just to show that nothing much is new under the sun: many, this is more than a vote. It's a battle for the soul of the city.

On one side: businesses and citizens who feel the city should allow adults to buy alcohol and reap the benefits in economic development when hotels, bars and restaurants flow in.

On the other: church groups and more conservative residents who want to preserve the city's dry tradition and believe alcohol is dangerous to the safety and character of Asheboro.

A furious debate has raged between the two groups for months. Campaigns on both sides have spent tens of thousands of dollars on newspaper and television ads. The arguments continue on blogs and in letters to the editor. Drive through town, and you'll see "For" or "Against" signs in the yard of nearly every house, in the windows of businesses and cars....

Incidentally, the Committee for the Future of Ashboro, the group pushing for legalization, is "a virtual who's-who of the city's business, civic and political leaders." If the vote on Tuesday fails, we suspect that some of those political leaders will be facing hot reelection battles when they have to run again. Come to think of it, if the vote succeeds, they'll all be in hot reelection battles too.

Maybe Ashboro is more conservative than Marion, but we doubt it, and LBD passed in Marion earlier this summer.

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