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LaFayette City Alcohol Measure, 2009

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A LaFayette City Alcohol Measure was on the November 3, 2009 ballot in Walker County for voters in the City of LaFayette.

The measure proposed the legalization of the sale "liquor by the drink" in the city. It was narrowly defeated.


On May 11,2009 the city council voted 4 to 1 to put the measure on the November ballot for voters to voice their own opinions. Council member Wayne Swanson voted no, but not all council members are in favor of the measure itself. “I feel I represent not only the people that don’t want it, but the ones that do want it. The straw poll, of course, can’t be done by public or city funds, so the only thing that can be on a referendum is liquor by the drink,” Council member Eric Tallent said.

City restaurant owners originally requested the ability to sell beer and wine, but according to state law there can only be a straw poll for beer and wine sales. A straw poll cannot be in the form of a referendum to the people, but must be handled by an independent group. Therefore the city council voted to put a measure on "liquor by the drink" on the ballot instead. However, advocates said that although the ballot measure is a step forward, the council is avoiding the real issue.

"But they (the council members) still refuse to vote on it. It is too controversial and that I wasn’t happy about. Putting a straw poll on an individual citizen, I don’t think that is fair and it is non-binding even if they get a 51-49 vote,” said Wayne Winters, a resident and advocate for the sale of beer and wine. Winters argued that nearby communities already sell liquor, "It is hurting the economy of LaFayette not to have it...We are losing a lot of tax revenue, sending it to Catoosa County.”[1]

Election result

LaFayette City Alcohol Measure
Result Votes Percentage
Defeatedd No 494 51.14%
Yes 472 48.86%
Total votes 966 100.00%
Voter turnout 30%