Albany City Commissioners voted 5-2 in support of allowing citizens to vote in November on whether they want alcohol to be sold in Albany on Sunday. Commissioners Jon Howard and Tommie Postell were the two votes against the motion.
"We as commissioners have not done one iota of research as to the negatives or the positives of selling alcoholic beverages on Sunday," says Postell.
For this reason, Postell requested that the board of commissioners table the vote on Sunday alcohol sales until they conducted more research and discussion. His motion to table the issue was voted down.
"We supposed to be intelligent enough to say what this is about, what is going on. If the constituents ask you why, you don't have a reason like some of them making an excuse, I want the people to vote," says Postell.
Mayor Pro Tem Roger Marietta and Ward II Commissioner Dorothy Hubbard say they personally don't drink, but believe the people deserve to vote.
"I voted yes to put it on the ballot for the people to decide. Personally I'm not in favor of it but I feel people have a right to vote on this issue," says Mayor Pro Tem Roger Marietta. "I like direct democracy. To me this is direct democracy: The people will have their say, the majority will rule."
Postell says he believes it is also a violation of the commandment that honors the Sabbath Day.
"Remember the Sabbath Day and keep it holy. Are you keeping it holy by getting people to go get drunk or having them buy liquor and wine and beer?" says Postell. He says it is forsaking the Savior by partaking in purchasing and consuming alcohol on Sunday: Something that can be done on Saturday.
Questions were also raised during the commission meeting regarding safety and if the Albany Police Department would experience a strain due to alcohol sales on Sunday. Chief John Proctor says it could cause additional work for police officers, as he says it did when he worked in Tallahassee where there alcohol is sold on Sundays.
If Albany citizens vote to pass Sunday alcohol sales, stores will sell liquor, beer and wine from 2 p.m. until 11:30 p.m.