Anti-booze battle boils
Grassroots organization formed to fight legalized liquor sales
Leada DeVaney, Hartselle Enquirer
A grassroots organization formed in Hartselle is working to keep alcohol sales out of the city.
Families for a Safe Hartselle was formed by Jeff Johnson and Michael Grooms. According to Johnson, the organization is working to keep alcohol from being sold in the city.
"We aim to get the truth out to fellow Hartselle residents that legalization of liquor sales is detrimental to the quality of life in Hartselle," Johnson said. "People move to Hartselle for the family friendly environment. We hope to protect that family friendly environment. We are extremely encouraged by the rapidly growing support from families all across Hartselle."
Families for a Safe Hartselle held a rally last week at city hall. More than 50 people were present at the rally, including Mayor Clif Knight and Councilman Don Hall. A referendum to legalize alcohol sales in Hartselle is set for Nov. 5. Proponents of alcohol sales say they will bring in much-needed tax revenue to the city.
Currently, alcohol sales are permitted in nearby Decatur, Madison and Huntsville and proponents of legalized sales in Hartselle said those cities are benefiting from local resident's dollars.
Johnson said the effects of alcohol sales far outweigh any revenue benefits.
"There are those who are pushing to change our quality of life," Johnson said. "They talk of more tax dollars. Have they looked into the possible detrimental effects such as increased crime rate, increase in DUI incidents, underage drinking, public drunkeness and the increased expenditures in training our police department to deal with these problems?"