Who will vote on liquor-by-the-drink?

Larry Stanford Editor

September 10, 2013

Depending on where you live in Upson County, during the General Election on November 5, you could be voting on a liquor by the drink referendum and/or the District 4 Thomaston City Council seat. If you live in Yatesville, you won’t be voting in a city election… again.

Upson County

When the General Election rolls around on November 5, voters in Upson County will have one item on the ballot – voting on whether or not they would like to be able to purchase liquor by the drink in the unincorporated portion of the county. But if the Board of Commissioners go along with what a former commission chairman is suggesting, only those voters in the unincorporated portion of the county will vote on the issue.

During the BOC’s meeting on August 27, the board was addressed by former commission chairman Glenn Collins, who is concerned about the liquor referendum for Upson County on the November ballot. Collins stated the county has no control over what goes on inside the city limits for Thomaston or Yatesville, just as the cities do not have control over the unincorporated areas of Upson County either. He told the board that he did not think the residents of Thomaston and Yatesville should be able to vote for what only pertains to the unincorporated areas, even though he realized the tax money for the county comes from all the residents. He asked that the board reconsider their decision for the vote. Commission Chairman Rusty Blackston told Collins they would have County Attorney Ed Trice look into the matter and take his comments under advisement.

On the Board of Commissioners’ agenda for their meeting tonight is an item under New Business for “Discussion of Amendment to Resolution for Liquor Referendum.”

City of Thomaston

There are three City Council seats up for election, but only one seat will be contested on the ballot. Don Greathouse and Tempy Hoyle are running for the District 4 Council seat formerly held by Wallace Rhodes, who passed away in June. Both of them are also running to fill the remaining two months in Rhodes’ current term, with that special election slated for next Tuesday, September 17. Early voting for the special election continues through this Friday, September 13, 2013.

The District 3 Council seat held by Jim Richards and the Mayor Pro Tem seat held by Doug Holder were decided in qualifying, when only the incumbents qualified to run again. At the Sept. 3 meeting of the Thomaston City Council, Mayor Hays Arnold congratulated the two.

“Congratulations to Council member Richards and our Pro Tem Doug Head for not having opposition this election,” said Arnold. “I think that says a lot about how people feel about the job you’ve done and appreciate you.”

Doug Head expressed his gratitude to the voters.

“I want to thank the public for allowing me to serve again. I appreciate it,” said Holder. “It is a privilege to do it.”

Jim Richards, who won a special election by two votes over Sam Coker to fill the remaining term of the late Ed Bell in 2011, said he is glad to run unopposed this time, but said running with opposition in his first election campaign gave him valuable experience.

“I learned parts of the town that I didn’t know, met people I hadn’t met, heard some things I needed to know, and getting to be told by people, ‘Yes we want you,’ or ‘No, we don’t want you.’” said Richards. “I really rather run unopposed, but I’m glad to have had the experience to reflect on. I look forward to four more years to serve.”

City of Yatesville

If Yatesville residents didn’t have county, state and national elections to vote in, they might forget how to vote. Once again, the City of Yatesville will not have a local election, as only the incumbents for the three City Council seats up for election qualified to run again.

Council members Wanda Dozier, Robert Releford, and Ronnie Riggins have no opposition to their seats, so the city will not hold a local election… again. Last year, Mayor Cecil Moncrief, who is currently in his third term as Mayor, noted that he cannot remember having had an election since he has been on the Council, both as a Council member and as Mayor. The no election streak holds true again.