To the Editor:
Vote for Amory – Vote Dry on Dec. 10. Liquor tricks you. It uses you; it ruins you.
Look at this new epidemic of vaping – it has caused 2,100+ deaths. It is legal for adults to use, but kids 14 and 16 years young get it. Young adults get it. It is killing and maiming.
It is the same with having liquor legal in our small town. Young ones get it and become alcoholics, and more killing and maiming comes with it.
I hope you read the letter from Ms. Alice Ortiz. She told of two towns around us that have legalized alcohol. Do you see how liquor has moved their towns forward? Absolutely not!!! I have lived in both towns and can verify everything she said. They have slowly but surely moved backward.
Do you want this for our town? They say more taxes – more businesses. Truth! More police protection, more business from trash on the streets (cans, bottles). This is where any tax increase goes. More businesses – liquor stores and open bars. As Ms. Ortiz said, the only ones that make money are the ones that sell it.
Vaping can only hurt you who do it, but alcohol causes you to hurt others. Every mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, aunt, uncle, cousin, sister, brother. Ask yourself this question: Do I want to be the one responsible for ruining a member of my family or someone else’s family? If you answer this question truthfully, you will say no way! The only thing you can do is vote no for legalizing liquor in our town. Legalizing alcohol would only move our town backwards, not forward as their slogan says.
Christians, we are in a spiritual battle. We can have the victory through prayer. God provides all the resources we need to prevail.
Go vote no to this battle on Dec. 10.
Hilda R. McNeese
John and Yvonne Hathcock
To the Editor:
I’m Carla Glasgow. My father Billy Glasgow was the mayor of Amory for eight years. My granddaddy owned Bill’s Hamburgers. I have served on the board of Kiwanis International (Amory Club), Amory Main Street Board, Renasant Bank Advisory Board and Monroe County Chamber Board. I built the Main Street Pocket Park at Vinegar Bend, where our new Mississippi Blues Trail Marker now stands. I have been a business owner here in Amory 44 years. I am for adult beverages Amory. Let me tell you why.
Amory voted to stay dry in 2014. Pontotoc and New Albany (cities with similar population and demographics to Amory) voted to go wet. According to the Mississippi Department of Revenue, tax collections on food and hospitality in Pontotoc and New Albany increased 46.7 percent and 50.1 percent respectively the first year after legalization and have since increased.
Police chiefs in these cities also reported that crime has not risen because of alcohol sales in their communities. Their city sales tax outgrew us sizably. Their population grew. We shrunk. People moved to their cities. People left ours. Their businesses grew. Ours didn’t. Amory Middle School’s student population has declined by 11 percent over five school years, while our middle school teacher population has declined by 21 percent. We continue to have less children in our Amory schools in general.
Here is a partial list of businesses that have closed or left since Amory voted to stay dry in 2014: Mid South Fine Printers, Revelation Armaments, Wards and Watkins Accounting, Precious Possum, Blake McCollum Photography, Miller’s on Main, All Decked Out, The Blossom Shop, Bam BBQ, Charlotte’s Carpets, Vittles, Amory Twin Cinemas, Bakers Bait Shop, Bishop’s BBQ, Curves, Dana’s Petals and Lace, Earnest B’s BBQ, Edgil Family Chiropractor, Flooring Concepts, Goody’s, JBS Construction, Phillips Pawn Shop, Monroe County Power Association (leaving soon), Owens Grocery and Sam Stevens Motors.
How many wedding receptions have passed us by because they could not serve adult beverages? How many golf tournaments? How many fundraisers, holiday parties, school reunions, family reunions, corporate events went elsewhere? How many commercial real estate deals did we lose? How much money have we lost in the last five years staying dry?
So often people regale me with stories of how great Amory was “back in the day” then scratch their heads wondering why we are now a shadow of who we once were. The answer is simple, we refuse to move forward.
Hopefully no thinking, voting adult is naive regarding the adverse effects of alcohol, any more than they would be naive regarding the adverse effects of smoking, vaping, gluttony, abuse of prescription medication or lack of exercise. That’s why I trust our aldermen. I believe they are intelligent and desire the best for our fine city. I am confident in their ability to put an ordinance in place that provides for the benefits of adult beverage sales and minimizes adverse effects so adult beverage sales are sold and consumed responsibly.
I don’t believe that the sale of adult beverages is the silver lining that will magically turn Amory into Camelot; no intelligent adult should believe this. I do believe that the sale of adult beverages is a necessary economic tool to a better future for Amory. I do believe that without the sale of adult beverages, business opportunities will continue to pass us by, career jobs that might hold our young people to this fine city will keep going to cities that are wet (and our young people along with them), our hard-earned dollars will continue to go to restaurants and stores in wet cities, not ours.
These cities will also benefit from a tourism tax because they have taxable robust dining and hotels that we don’t. Our downtown vendors will continue to struggle to get by, hoping more Amory residents will come see them only to discover that yet another potential customer decided to dine out of town and stroll those shops after dinner instead of ours.
I have to wonder, how many of the recent editorial writers against adult beverages actually live in Amory, work in Amory, have businesses in Amory or even pay taxes to the City of Amory? Is their issue with going wet that they are against alcohol sales and consumption in any form, any city, anywhere? Do some believe that it is okay to purchase alcohol in a wet city and illegally transport it in their car into dry Amory for consumption in their homes? Do they imbibe in their homes but just don’t want it legal to sell here? Do their kids ever see them drink wine with dinner or beer with pizza? How do they explain this behavior to their children? Do they realize that DUIs are higher in dry cities than wet cities because people can just walk to their local restaurants rather than drive? Do they feel comfortable being part of that DUI statistic just to keep Amory dry?
Five years ago, Amory voted dry. Five years ago, people cried, “Yes, there are many problems with lack of growth in Amory and we need solutions, but an adult beverage is not one of them! We can make Amory better now, but we must stay dry to do so!” Five years have passed. Where are those people? Did they launch new businesses here? Did they entice industry to come here? Did they patronize our local restaurants rather than eat and drink at wet out of town ones? Did they shop vigorously on Main Street? Or did they take down their signs and banners and go back to business as usual? Five years ago, Amory voted dry. Are we better off now than we were five years ago?