Local citizens express opinions about liquor-by-the-drink

By Julie Fann
star staff

In an attempt to glean the opinions of local citizens concerning the issue of liquor-by-the-drink in Carter County, the Elizabethton Star conducted a non-scientific poll outside the local United States Post Office Tuesday afternoon. Of the 25 people surveyed, 14 said they would vote against liquor-by-the-drink, while 10 said they would be in favor of it. One woman said she was indifferent on the issue.
   Individuals who said they would support liquor-by-the-drink state as their reason the belief that it would increase revenue to the city and that it should be the responsibility of the people to ensure the financial progress of the community. "Doesn't some tax money go to education in the city? We're taking our tax money into Johnson City, Bristol, or wherever, when it seems to me it would serve us better here," said Elizabethton resident Terry Caudill.
   Others who are supportive of liquor-by-the-drink indicated that it wasn't the city's decision, ultimately, if individuals are going to drink liquor or not. Most of those citizens wanted to remain anonymous but said, "People are going to drink anyhow," or "I think it's an individual's own personal decision whether or not to drink, not the city's choice."
   On the whole, those who said they support liquor-by-the-drink seemed to do so out of concern for the financial well-being of the city and the rights of individuals to choose for themselves. Those who are against liquor-by-the-drink in Elizabethton, on the other hand, had strong personal reasons behind their belief.
   Peter Manouse said he doesn't support liquor-by-the-drink because he was married to an alcoholic. "If liquor is nearer to the drinker, then they will drink even more. It's a bit of a drive to Johnson City, so I say let them drive and think about it," he said. Donna Jordan, whose children attend Harold McCormick and T.A. Dugger, said she is against liquor-by-the-drink. "Just being a mom, I'm against having it here. My kids don't have as much access to it here, and I like living here specifically for that reason," she said.
   Another city resident said he lost his sister due to a drunk driving accident and that he wouldn't support liquor-by-the-drink for that reason.
   Joan DeVoti said that having liquor-by-the-drink in Elizabethton would only increase drunk driving. "I believe there would be more people drinking and driving, and more young people would be trying to get access to it," she said.
   Jason Bowling, a young Carter County resident, when asked if he would support liquor-by-the-drink, adamantly said, "No." When asked why, he simply stated, "Bad for the community."