Petitions for beer & wine sales gaining support fast | News
TYLER, TX (KLTV)- Thursday marked day two for registered voters to sign the petition that could allow beer and wine sales in stores in Tyler and some parts of Smith County.
In order to get the issue on the November ballot, the petition must have at least 7,800 signatures from voters in the Tyler city limits and 6,700 signatures in precinct two, which includes Flint, Noonday and Bullard.
Supporters have 60 days to get the required signatures, but some businesses say they could meet that goal in just a few weeks.
They're just as busy if not busier at Stanley's Bar-B-Q in Tyler.
Nick Pencis, the owner, says people of all ages and occupations have walked into his restaurant, eager to sign the petitions.
"The attitude today has been borderline snatching the pen out of my hand so they could sign it; they couldn't sign it fast enough," he says.
There are four petitions in all. One petition is for beer and wine sales in stores in Tyler; one is for those sales in precinct two. Then, there are two more petitions for mixed beverage sales in restaurants that were outside the city limits or precinct lines last time this issue came to a vote.
"I think it's crazy that we can't buy beer in Tyler. I think it's basic freedom that people can make choices. They're going to make them anyway, so why not bring the economic benefit to Tyler," asks Tyler resident Jeff Embry.
At Walmart, petitioners sit camped outside the store. Some customers are eager to sign the petitions and others are not.
Those against the issue didn't go on camera, but they say the dollar isn't worth the danger they feel alcohol brings to the community.
Some people signing the petitions say they don't even see the other side's perspective.
"The DWI numbers are going to be the same. The crime is going to be the same. What would change," a Tyler voter asks.
Whether anything will change isn't even an issue yet. It's the opportunity for change that the group, Buy Local First, is after.
"We just want to get it on the ballot so people can express how they really feel and what they really want," says Pencis.
As of Wednesday there are about nine businesses in Tyler that have petitions available for voters to sign. To see a complete list click here.
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