An opportunity for fairness

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By The Staff

On May 27, fiscal court had the opportunity to put all businesses in Shelby County on the same playing field. The issue before them was an ordinance that would allow nine businesses in the county (but outside the city limits of Shelbyville) that are licensed to sell alcohol by the drink to serve their customers on Sundays. There are 72 businesses with the same license, but those inside the city limits are allowed to serve on Sundays. The city council approved an ordinance allowing them to do so, because of economic reasons. Half of the county magistrates and the county judge failed to see the logic of the same argument for the remaining 9 businesses.

I would like to publicly thank Magistrates Riggs, Whitehouse and Pollett for their support of this ordinance. Despite personal beliefs related to alcohol with some of these men, they saw the inequality and unfairness that exists for the 9 businesses outside the city limits. I applaud them for basing their decisions on fact and reason, for it is a fact that our businesses lose revenue because of our inability to serve customers on Sunday.

There was a meeting held for public opinion on this issue on May 13. Only one opponent, a preacher, spoke against this ordinance at the meeting, while 11 proponents spoke for it. Again at last night's meeting, the court room was filled with proponents, and only one person, the preacher, applauded when the measure failed.

Magistrate Curtsinger commented last night that she received 20 phone calls of opposition to this ordinance, because they didn't believe in drinking. She voted against the ordinance. Ms. Curtsinger represents over 3400 voters in her district, and her vote was based on phone calls from less than one-half of 1 percent of her constituents. Magistrate Ruble withdrew from the vote because of his feelings on alcohol use. Magistrate Armstrong voted against the ordinance for the same reason. Magistrate Cariss made no comments that may have been the basis for his no vote.

Judge Rothenberger could have made a strong statement to business leaders in the county by breaking the 3-3 tie with an affirmative vote. Instead he chose to remain silent, and his silence was heard loud and clear by the 9 businesses affected. He saw no reason to support equality and fairness in business. His silence allowed the ordinance to be defeated, and left the 9 businesses still at a disadvantage to Shelbyville and Louisville businesses.

Hopefully the next election will bring forth magistrates and a judge who understand there should be equality and fairness in competition in our county, and will base fiscal court decisions on fact, reason and economics instead of personal feelings.

Lawren A. Just,

President, Persimmon Ridge Golf Course, Inc.