Washington County Liquor Sales Referendum (2009)
Sheran Whitaker of Vernon, WCCEO Chair stated: "Going wet will not cure all of our economic ills but it will serve as a catalyst to get our economy moving. It is a valid and logical first step." A survey taken by the group showed that most residents preferred a wet county to a dry county.
On July 1, 2009, Whitaker will register Washington County Citizens for Economic Opportunity as a political committee, which will allow it to raise and spend funds towards revising Washington County's liquor laws. Raising funds will enable the group to start circulating a petition to county residents seeking a referendum on county liquor laws.
Whitaker said WCCEO will have a petition drive once it raises the sufficient funds. WCCEO stated that the money needed to begin this petition drive and campaign could be as high as $40,000 to $50,000.
The Citizens for Positive Development was formed on July 10, 2009 to oppose the expansion of Washington County liquor laws. The Rev. Alcus Brock is spokesperson and registered agent for the organization. “We have sent in registration papers to the Florida Elections Commission and have opened a bank account,” Brock said. The group has stated that they are not affiliated with a church, but are simply private citizens doing business as private citizens.
Path to the ballot
In order to hold a referendum, 25 percent of Washington County's registered voters must sign petitions calling for the election. Once its petition drive begins, the committee has 120 days to complete it. If the required number of petitions are turned in and validated, the county commission must schedule a referendum.