City Council Meeting
City of Carmi
August 19, 2013
The Carmi City Council met Monday, August 19, 2013 at 5:30 p.m. in the Council Room of the Municipal Building, 225 East Main Street, Carmi, Illinois.
Prior to opening the council meeting, Mayor Pollard asked Alderman Steve Winkleman to give the invocation. The prayer was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mayor Pollard presided with the following aldermen present: Steve Winkleman, Mark W. Blake, Keith Davis, Sheila Jo Headlee, Doug Hays, Jack Lamont and Mike Knight. Alderman Kenny Carter was absent, due to being out of town.
Minutes for the August 5, 2013 council meeting were presented. A motion was made by Alderman Knight and seconded by Alderman Winkleman to approve the minutes as presented. The motion carried on roll call by each Alderman answering “yes.”
Mayor Pollard presented Mr. Keith Botsch to update Council on the financial state of the City of Carmi for the month of July, 2013. Mr. Botsch presented the following:
- Corporate: General Fund available $845,853, cash available to spend.
Excess revenues over expenditures of $251,000, after transfer of $252,000 to utility side and $7,500 to the Library. Loss of $1,093 through July 31, 2013.
- Motor Fuel Tax: brought in $72,000 and spent $198,000, deficit of $126,000. Availability of $582,000 of MFT money that has not been spent.
- Library Fund: $26,238 deficit, due to $68,000 of its budget coming from property taxes that will be available to them starting in September.
- Light and Water: Utility side $816,745 available, profits have been down due to cooler weather this year.
- Electric Department: $420,000 deficit, after transfers deficit should actually be $37,536.
- Water Fund: $129,621 deficit, add back depreciation and actual deficit is $71,287
- Sewer Fund: Excess revenues over expenditures balance of $54,677
- Noted that the council would have to consider raising property taxes under the tax levy to be able to fund the Police Pension Fund.
- Revenue from “Gaming” as of July 31, 2013 has been $5,000
- Budget was set for a loss of $314,000 and through July 31 of 2013 the City is in good shape financially.
July 2013 financial reports for the City of Carmi and Carmi Light and Water Departments were presented for approval. A motion was made by Alderman Winkleman and seconded by Alderman Headlee to approve the financial reports as presented. The motion carried on roll call by each Alderman answering “yes.”
Vendor invoices for the City of Carmi and Carmi Light & Water Departments payable in August 2013 were presented for approval. No comments or questions were expressed by Alderman regarding the vendor invoices. Motion by Alderman Headlee and seconded by Alderman Blake to approve and authorize payment of the August 2013 vendor invoices. The motion carried on roll call by each Alderman answering “yes.”
Mayor Pollard asked council to reschedule the Monday, September 2, 2013 council meeting to Tuesday, September 3, 2013 because of a conflict with the Labor Day Holiday. A motion was made by Alderman Winkleman and seconded by Alderman Davis to approve the rescheduling as requested. The motion carried on roll call by each alderman answering “yes.”
Mayor Pollard presented to council for approval and acceptance the bid of $67,236.90 by Kieffer Brothers Construction out of Mt. Carmel, IL for the waterline project at Industrial Park. There were three (3) bids submitted:
- $76,434.94 – Mott Construction in Vienna, IL
- $68,677.70 – Followell Construction in Marion, IL
- $67,236.90 – Kieffer Brothers Construction in Mt. Carmel, IL
Motion was made Alderman Blake and seconded by Alderman Lamont to approve and accept the bid by Kieffer Brothers Construction as presented. The motion carried on roll call by each Alderman answering “yes.”
Reports and/or updates from Mayor Pollard
- Mayor Pollard received a letter that Egyptian Health Department would be enforcing the Illinois Smoke Free Act and has hired a part time enforcement officer to go around to all establishments making sure of compliance with the Act.
- The sidewalk repairs on 7th Street have been completed and preparations are being made for sidewalk repairs on Lexington Ave…
- The current roof of the Light & Water building is in need of repair or replacement and closed bids will need to be sought in the near future.
- There have been complaints of vehicles speeding down Stewart Street. Council needs to consider a four way stop at the intersection of Stewart Street, Hillsdale Drive and Beck Street. Council also needs to consider allowing a crosswalk to Stewart Street Baptist Church.
- The demolition hearing for the Collins property on North 7th Street was rescheduled for Monday, August 26th and upon approval bids would be accepted for council consideration and approval.
- WEDG Director Sandra Irvine had notified Mayor Pollard that Mr. Dan January of the Egyptian Health Department inquired if the city would be interested in holding an electronics recycling event in the fall, which would be similar to the event held in May of this year. There is no cost to the city for this event and would be handled by Vintage Tech Recyclers, the city would only need to assist in the unloading of the items that were to be dropped off.
Report from City Supervisor Mike Buckman
- Release to Council and Press that on Wednesday, August 21 at 8:00 A.M. the following streets of Park Lane, State, South Rice, Olive, North Ratcliff, East, West, West Kerney, Grant and West Partridge will be without power for approximately three (3) to four (4) hours, due to switching over the electrical upgrades at Eckerle Park.
- There is a need for replacement of power poles, wire and transformers on the South Side of Main Street between College Boulevard and Montgomery Circle. The upgrade would potentially be completed this fall by the Electric Department.
- Lamac Engineering has had an intern working in the City of Carmi this year. The intern mapped out all of the city’s fire hydrants, water shutoff valves, completed a color map of all of the power poles and power lines using GPS (Global Positioning System). This will be an asset to all departments and allow them the capability of locating these items in a timely fashion in the future.
- A new water line has been installed at the Municipal Airport and a “hot tap” will be completed with the assistance of Texas Eastern in the near future. The intent of this upgrade was for a customer at the end of the water line needing access to the water supply. The customer has been using approximately 10,000 gallons of water per day and provides substantial revenue for the City. The upgrade would allow other customers to access the water supply as well.
- The water line project at Falcon Drive that was awarded to Kieffer Brothers Construction will provide ample pressure and water supply to all of Industrial Park. The project is scheduled to begin immediately.
- The Falcon Drive, Industrial Drive and Burrell Street projects have all been scheduled to take place next year.
- The “Blue Goose” water pumping station project will be in the next two (2) to five (5) years. The cost of the repair or replacement of the pumping station will be $300,000 to $500,000.
- There has been a great deal of internal organizing being completed within the internal structure of the City since Mayor Pollard has taken office. Mr. Buckman noted there is a need for the Water, Sewer and Electric Departments to make a list of their prospective problem areas. He is looking at a data system that would keep track of these problem areas, this allow each department the ability to recognize what repairs are a consistent problem and need to be repaired.
- There will be an all-inclusive inventory for each department taken this winter. The inventory will allow the City and Management the ability to keep track of its equipment to better manage cost and to have a safer working environment.
- After attending the Fracking conference at Rend Lake College last month, the insight was that the City of Carmi’s infrastructure is in great shape to handle a pending oil boom and the potential problem could be with traffic.
Reports from Standing Committees
- Alderman Knight advised that the Parks Department bush hog mower is becoming expensive to repair and needs to be replaced before next year.
- Alderman Hays noted that the Carmi Police Department’s new 2013 squad car has arrived, it has been striped and at the city garage getting all necessary electrical equipment installed.
- Alderman Lamont inquired on the status of the two (2) houses on the 800 block of 7th street that are in need of demolition. Mayor Pollard noted that he had spoken with City Attorney Greg Stewart and the hearing for the approval to demolish was moved to the 26th of August.
- Alderman Davis advised that the Water Meter Department’s truck has been having problems and needs to be replaced.
Mayor Pollard presented to Council for discussion the City Liquor Ordinances.
Discussion of creating more Restaurant Licenses & Sunday Sales to Restaurants Only
Mayor Pollard addressed the following:
- The need to address the current Liquor Ordinance was going to have to been done whoever was in the Mayor’s office.
- It was discussed that since there were several needed revisions to the Liquor Ordinance that all aspects of the ordinance should be discussed.
- Communication between the Mayor And Alderman has been a vital part of the discussion of the current Liquor Ordinance.
- He has hopefully made it clear that the discussion of the Liquor Ordinance has not been decided on, or set in stone at this point.
- Chain restaurants such as Applebee’s have been in contact with this administration and will not consider building in Carmi without the ability to sell alcohol on Sunday.
- Liquor Control definitions of a Restaurant:
- Any public place kept, used, maintained, advertised and held out to the public as a place where meals are served and where meals actually are served and regularly served, without sleeping accommodations, such as space being provided with adequate and sanitary kitchen and dining room equipment and capacity and having employed therein a sufficient number and kind of employees to prepare, cook and serve food for its guest and where more than 50% of the gross receipts are obtained from the sales of foodstuff; the term “restaurant” shall not include a public place wherein liquor is sold for consumption off the premises.
- A definition of a “restaurant” is classified under a Class B license: Licenses shall authorize the retail sale on the premises specified of alcoholic liquor by the drink or in the original package for consumption on the premises, as provided by law or otherwise.
- Currently the city has five (5) Class B licenses issued with four (4) of them located on Main Street.
Business or Comments from Visitors
Mr. Gene O’Neal questioned; Mayor Pollard, if we could honor God for just one (1) day? Believes citizens have six (6) days to drink, why give them another day? Believes it will be a bigger burden on the Police Department if restaurants sold alcohol on Sunday!
Mayor Pollard responded; yes, most people that attend church on Sunday he has seen in Evansville, Indiana at a restaurant that serves alcohol on Sunday after church. It is not about the alcohol but about bringing new businesses and revenue to the City of Carmi. If alcohol were available on Sunday at restaurants people would have a choice whether they wanted to drink or not and that is their own choice to do so.
Mr. O’Neal replied; he does not see it that way. He feels like the people in attendance were not speaking up on this matter.
Mr. Richard Cook questioned; Mr. O’Neal, if he loved his God and does it keep him from loving his God if someone else is drinking on Sunday?
Mr. O’Neal responded; no it does not affect my love of God. Is looking at what alcohol does to our community.
Mr. Clyde Brown responded; he agrees with Mr. O’Neal that people can drink all they want to throughout the week; it is not necessary to drink on Sunday and would like to keep one (1) day “Holy.” This community is full of good people who are Christians and it seems Christians have not stood up for their beliefs and let things get out of hand in Government. Mr. Brown feels very strongly about restaurants not having liquor sales on Sunday.
Chief of Police Randy Hamblin responded; the City of Carmi does not have many problems with alcohol related calls at restaurants that serve alcohol. The only problem historically with alcohol is during “Corndays’ celebration.
Alderman Winkleman questioned; even though restaurants serve food they cannot serve alcohol on Sunday’s?
Chief Hamblin responded; that is right.
Mr. Brown commented; that if you can drink all week long why you would want to drink on Sunday anyway and does not understand why the topic of Sunday sales was even brought up.
Alderman Davis responded; he sees it as an opportunity for growth of the community and should have the same choices as there in other areas. There are great restaurants in Carmi and the changes to the Liquor Ordinance would give patrons a chance to stay in Carmi and not travel out of town to have meals and have an alcoholic drink on Sunday, which in turn would create revenue for the community and city.
Mr. Brown inquired; if the council could focus more on industry and not on liquor to create more revenue for the city.
Alderman Davis responded; if the council is not open to new ideas or other changes then industry will not come to Carmi, they will go elsewhere.
Mr. Brown replied; he does not think liquor has anything to do with it.
Alderman Davis responded; we are not selling liquor but giving the opportunity for restaurants to come to Carmi. It would be up to the restaurants if they wanted to sell alcohol to patrons their on Sunday.
Mr. Brown replied; it should be up to the citizens of Carmi whether restaurants sell alcohol on Sunday’s to their patrons.
Alderman Davis responded; the council cannot make a business be closed or tell them what hours they will be open. The council can set guidelines for businesses but cannot control them. Other communities have package liquor sales on Sunday and the council is not seeking to change that part of the Liquor Ordinance.
Mr. Brown inquired; he would like the council to check with the citizens of this community to see what their feelings would be on the proposed changes to the Liquor Ordinance.
Alderman Davis replied; that is why the Mayor and council have brought it up for discussion, to allow the citizens to voice their opinion on the proposed changes. The council could have voted on the Liquor Ordinances without any public discussion, but it was important to Mayor Pollard to open the Ordinances up for discussion.
Mr. Brown noted; I am just voicing my opinion.
Alderman Davis replied; Mr. Brown I appreciate your opinion.
Mr. Todd Atteberry noted; he has studied the bible and teaches his children the bible, but does not consider drinking alcohol on Sunday a sin. Refers to the seven (7) deadly sins and that alcohol is the same as gluttony. Should we pander to one part of Christianity or to all of Christianity allow people to worship or not to worship or just keep Christianity out of the discussion?
Mr. Tim Pollard responded; the problem with the country is that morals and Christianity are being taken out of everything that is decided on. Read a letter to the editor of the Carmi Times which was titled Morals or Money, sees the problem of taking out the morals and there would be more money.
Mr. Atteberry responded; that Christians differ in their opinion of whether drinking is allowed or not. We should all be allowed to make our own decisions about drinking alcohol.
Mr. Tim Pollard replied; he should be able to take his family to a restaurant after church on Sunday and not have to sit beside someone who is drinking alcohol.
Mr. Atteberry responded; that you can do that.
Mr. Tim Pollard replied; yes I can now.
Mr. Cook questioned; of Mr. Tim Pollard if he would be allowed to come into his home and tell him what he was going to do.
Mr. Tim Pollard replied; you cannot come in my home and tell me to do anything!
Mr. Cook responded; that seems to be what you want to do, you want to tell others that they cannot drink alcohol on Sunday and control their decision.
Mr. O’Neal interjected; why do they have to sell liquor on Sunday they can already sell it on Saturday?
Mr. Cook responded; they can. They can choose not to sell alcohol on Sunday to their patrons.
Mr. O’Neal commented; this guy sets a real good example for those that like to drink.
Mr. Atteberry responded: I came back to Carmi to take care of my parents and when I’m not taking care of them I’m taking care of my son and on a good day after working I might have a couple of beers, I do not see this as a sin.
Mr. O’Neal replied; not on Sunday, we should have one (1) day to honor God. He controls our life and we are going to face him someday. I have worked with hundreds of different men and I have found out that those who drink have trouble keeping their jobs and those that do not drink would show up for a hard day’s work.
Mr. Atteberry responded; I have never missed a day’s work because of drinking.
Mr. O’Neal replied; I don’t care what you do.
Mr. Atteberry replied; you’re the one who took me on to use as an example as the kind of person that you say you have known to drink alcohol. I have been called an abomination for speaking out on this subject.
Mr. O’Neal responded; that he believes that people can drink all they want on Saturday and by the barrel full. But not on Sunday!
Mr. Brown commented; Carmi has gotten by so far without having alcohol sales on Sunday and believes it should stay that way!
Mr. Steve Norris noted; the debate is what are the social effects and the moral effects of changing the Liquor Ordinances to Carmi, not whether to drink or not to drink on Sunday but what is best for the City of Carmi. There needs to be some research available to the Council to see what might be an underlying affect it might have on the city, morally, socially and financially.
Mr. Ralph Anselment interjected; his concern is the same as Mr. Norris. There are plenty of news stories about drunk driving and underage drinking, he does not understand why there would be any addition of hours to establishments or more licenses issued it would only drive younger people to do wrong.
Mr. O’Neal noted; you are making a big mistake!
Mr. Braden Willis questioned; how many of you here own firearms?
Multiple responses from crowd answered; yes they owned firearms.
Mr. Willis questioned; if they believed that guns do not kill people but people kill people? If they believe in that they must believe that alcohol does not kill people, but rather people kill people and people’s misuse of alcohol is what the problem is.
Mr. Jimmy Pollard noted; that it was giving people more of an opportunity to misuse alcohol.
Mr. Atteberry noted; he has completed some research on the subject. In several states, Canada and Great Britain the research shows that Sunday sales reduce drunk driving. Research has shown that longer hours of serving alcohol does not increase the problem, but does some small amount of good. The reasoning behind this is that people that have longer hours to drink will stagger there drinking out for the extended times. Encourages the council to do research on the proposed changes and contrary to what people believe actually has a reverse affect.
Mr. Brown questioned; that if a vote was taken now, how many people would be in favor of the proposed changes.
Mayor Pollard responded; he could not do that at this time.
Alderman Mark Blake noted; that it was illegal to take a vote.
Mrs. Sharron Pollard questioned; is the Mayor and council keeping a running total of the responses they are getting concerning the proposed changes?
Mayor Pollard replied; yes, that he has all that information in his office. Alderman Winkleman gave Mayor Pollard a letter with signatures of those that are opposed to the changes, he has a running total of the people for and against that have been at previous meetings and a letter with signatures that was given to him at the first discussion. Those that have spoken with him personally are in support of restaurants being able to serve alcohol on Sunday. He is not proposing that this would start tomorrow; it is needed if the city were to see growth and draw a chain restaurant to Carmi, due to the impending oil boom.
Mr. Brown questioned; how is a chain restaurant going to produce more industry and jobs for Carmi?
Mayor pollard responded; we are working on bringing more industry to the community. He learned in the Fracking conference at Rend Lake College that a small town in Ohio grew by six-thousand (6,000) people during their boom and if that were to happen in Carmi were would all those people eat. We are trying to prepare for what might or might not happen in the future, if there were four (4) to five (5) liquor licenses added that does not mean that we are going to issue them. No one is waiting in line to apply for a liquor license and if the oil boom does not happen then Carmi would stay the way it is now.
Mr. Brown questioned; in the discussion it has been said that people are going to Grayville, he can’t see the increase in Grayville only the decrease.
Alderman Hays responded; the discussion of Grayville was brought up for driver’s safety and people making the wrong decision to drive from Carmi to Grayville or back to Carmi from Grayville drunk. It is a choice and a wrong choice at that.
Mr. Tim Pollard replied; why should we have to do what a few others do that has made the wrong choice.
Mr. Willis noted; exactly, you are making my point.
Mr. Norris questioned; is the reason patrons travel to Grayville because of the hours or what is the reason?
Alderman Hays responded; people will travel to New Haven, Ridgway or Harrisburg and most go to Grayville because of them having a band. Bands are expensive and our local establishments cannot afford to have a band. The goal is to keep patrons in town that gives them an opportunity to get home safely.
Mr. Norris noted; that it looked like it was the band that was drawing people to Grayville and not necessarily the hours of last call.
Alderman Hays responded; correct, but it was the band and the hours.
Alderman Headlee noted; believes it is the band and the hours.
Mr. Mike Fleming responded; he believes it is the young people and the band that is the draw to Grayville.
Mr. Brown questioned; can we create something better for the younger kids.
Chief Hamblin responded; they choose to do something different. It is a wonderful thought and has been expressed by a lot of people, but what is offered to the younger people does not seem to be popular. The comment was made that alcohol does not create more domestic violence, that is incorrect it does create more domestic violence. Carmi is a wet town and so is the country, if we are going to argue over wet or dry then that is another argument. He would like to see the topic of discussion to not get lost and the important changes that need to be made to the liquor ordinances. The abuse of alcohol is what causes a problem and most of the domestic related calls to police are at people’s homes, those people can purchase alcohol anywhere they want, take it home with them. The council is here to regulate the laws for the City of Carmi and should be approached with reality; what has been a problem, what has not been a problem, what can be done to prevent problems and what can be done to foster the growth of the community. If there any specific problems relating to the Police Department he will gladly discuss them. He would like to see an attempt to correct the discrepancies in the current Liquor Ordinance and get lost in a personal debate over theological philosophy. There are tools that the Police Department needs to be introduced into the Liquor Ordinance.
Steve McClure questioned; what are they?
Chief Hamblin responded; ban of alcohol on street, sidewalks and is needed to enforce.
Alderman Hays noted; that is how the discussion was originally started.
Chief Hamblin noted; it is currently not a problem if alcohol is consumed on the premises of an establishment, in the yard or in an established area, it becomes a problem when it is consumed publicly and would like to see a ban of consumption in public areas of the community.
Mr. McClure stated; that if this were the only issue being brought up then 100% us would probably vote for it.
Chief Hamblin responded; that it is only one of the issues and each one needs to be put in their proper prospective.
Mr. McClure noted; he is interested in what changes needed to take place for the Police Department to help them?
Chief Hamblin responded; that is the number one change needed.
Mr. McClure questioned; there is not a number two change?
Chief Hamblin responded; number two would be the ability to close an establishment that was out of control.
Mr. McClure responded; he believes that 100% of the people would vote for that change as well. They have asked for our input and opinion and that is why they are there.
Chief Hamblin replied; the next needed aspect of the ordinance would be clarification. There have been situations in the past that have been unclear and there needs to be an established set of rules and guidelines to the Liquor Ordinance. There has been other discussion of changes to the ordinance that he has no feeling about either way. He personally would rather not see the extension of hours.
Mr. McClure replied; there would be a positive vote on that as well. He was under the impression that the Mayor was the Liquor enforcer, but instead the Police Department is.
Chief Hamblin noted; the Mayor is the Liquor Commissioner and he and the council can put in the ordinance that the Police Department could shut down an out of control situation.
Mayor Pollard responded: after Grayville pushed back their hours they also gave its Police Department the ability to walk through an establishment seeing if alcohol was being poured past last call time and the power to shut the establishment down for the night.
Chief Hamblin responded; that punitive action would be taken and the Police Department at their own discretion could shut down an establishment.
Mr. McClure questioned; that this is not currently in the ordinance?
Chief Hamblin replied; for safety, he would like to see these changes put into the ordinance.
Mr. McClure responded; that he is in agreement with Chief Hamblin and there has been other issues introduced into the discussion that make it difficult to address the crucial aspects of the ordinance.
Mayor Pollard responded; he had made a comment at the last meeting, that when a vote is taken on the Liquor Ordinance, the vote will be separated for each part of the ordinance that has been discussed.
Mr. McClure questioned; if the public could vote on the changes or does it fall into the scope of just the council voting?
Mayor Pollard responded; honestly, we did not have to approach the proposed changes in the fashion that they did, it could have been voted on without any discussion.
Mr. McClure replied; that he appreciated that gesture.
Mayor Pollard replied; that is why he wanted to discuss it this way, even while campaigning he made it clear that he wanted to do what the council agreed on, what citizens wanted and what is best for the community for the future.
Mr. McClure responded; that was why he responded to the discussion, he wanted to be one of the first to voice his opinion and he appreciates the opportunity to do so.
Chief Hamblin interjected; Mr. McClure had asked if Chief Hamblin had made the Mayor and council aware of the needed changes to the ordinance. Yes, he has written a letter to the Mayor with all the prospective changes that need to be made.
Mr. McClure replied; he agrees with all of the changes that Chief Hamblin has brought to his attention that would be helpful to the Police Department. His objection is to all the discussion about the revenues that could be generated by alcohol and believes this is just the first step of the changes to take place concerning the Liquor Ordinance. Believes once changes are made, people will say we need another hour to be open, or more liquor licenses added and the Liquor ordinance will be revisited again. Alcohol tends to lubricate the machinery of change.
Alderman Davis responded; Evansville establishments are open to three (3) A.M. and a lot of people are home by eleven 11: 00 P.M. Once again this is about the growth of Carmi, if we stay like we are eventually the city will die down.
Mr. McClure responded; that is his concern and that is a bogus argument and can be demonstrated in other communities. Believes we do not have the population base to support a Red Lobster restaurant or an Applebee’s.
Mayor Pollard and Alderman Davis replied; not at this time, but possibly in the future.
Mr. McClure responded; we could grow.
Alderman Davis responded; if we do not grow then what is the purpose for us being here? I was told if I did not like it here I could move to Grayville, but I want to see growth just as Mr. McClure wants to see his church grow, Wal-Mart grow, Webb-Hay house grow.
Mr. McClure interjected; that no one is opposed to growth and that does not affect us at all. Our concern is the alcohol issue
Chief Hamblin noted; alcohol brings on a lot of strong emotions.
Mr. McClure replied; it does and it generates a lot of income.
Chief Hamblin responded; what needs to be looked at is the reasonability factor of whatever is approached by the council. Is there a problem and is it increasing the problem, those things are important to look at.
Mr. McClure replied; other people and communities would say yes it does create other problems.
Alderman Hays noted; this is not all revenue based, it is also about safety. The council is responsible for the safety of its citizens. I have the utmost respect for you Mr. McClure, we are trying to keep the drunks off the road, but there are drunk drivers out there now, on the roads and I am trying to keep them off the road. I hope you believe that?
Mr. McClure questioned; that serving liquor in restaurants keeps people off the road? They are driving to the restaurant now, so how is it keeping them off the road?
Alderman Hays responded; yes, they are driving there now.
Mr. McClure replied; I wish they weren’t.
Alderman Hays responded; it does not matter what we do here, we could make this town dry and were not going to make one person that drinks now, stop drinking!
Mr. McClure replied; your right!
Alderman Hays replied; it is a personal choice. We cannot tell a person how to make a choice.
Mr. McClure responded; your right!
Alderman Hays replied; I have to look at how I can best protect a citizen, when he makes a bad choice. Unfortunately people make a lot of bad choices.
Mr. McClure noted; he wanted the council to know that he is not upset with them; I have been through this in other places I have lived. I have no bad feelings towards anyone concerning this matter. There is room for a difference of opinion and hopes the council is hearing that difference of opinion. My grandmother was an alcoholic, it ruined my Father’s family and she died due to alcoholism. Every family has some sort of tie to alcoholism and it affects all of us.
Chief Hamblin responded; that is why his Police Department has a zero tolerance for alcohol related offenses especially DUI’s and underage drinking. It has affected his family and friends families, but zero tolerance has been issued across the board. We do not have liquor sales on Sunday of any form, but last Sunday a young lady received a DUI for being intoxicated over the legal limit. The wet versus dry debate he understands, you can drink or not drink but you can regulate it to consider all the factors involved and safety is number one.
Mr. McClure replied; he understands it is a wet town, we are just saying don’t make it worse.
Chief Hamblin responded; he is not arguing the economics of the changes his job is public safety. I think we need to examine if we really are making it worse. What choices are being made are they hindering it for better or for worse.
Mr. Brown interjected; Christians have all set back and let certain things pass in government and it is time we stopped it. We have said our peace and how we feel and let’s not set back and let things like this happen.
Chief Hamblin replied; you know that is what is great about our country were you the ability to have this type of discussion.
Mr. Brown commented; yes it is such things as freedom of speech and the right to voice our own opinion.
Alderman Hays noted; religious freedom also works for people that do not believe.
Alderman Headlee noted; she has been polling people in her ward and wants to know what her constituents want. She has been keeping a tally of their opinions.
Mrs. Schotzy Allen questioned; Mayor Pollard you are not talking about opening up alcohol sales on Sunday to licensees, just to Restaurants only?
Mayor Pollard responded; yes, just to restaurants only.
Mrs. Allen replied; they would have a choice to not sell alcohol on Sunday if they chose to not do so, but could sell all the other days of the week. If an Applebee’s came to Carmi then they could choose to sell on Sunday or not to sell on Sunday and if they wanted to come to Carmi there is not even a liquor license available to give them.
Mayor Pollard responded; that is right!
Alderman Knight commented; basically we are bribing businesses with alcohol in this nice peaceful community, surely to goodness we can do a little bit better with our bribe.
Alderman Davis responded; that we were not bribing anybody, we were offering them something.
Alderman Knight replied; we already have fourteen (14) places in town where you can go buy alcoholic beverages.
Alderman Davis responded; Mayor Pollard is not opening up the discussion for all of them to sell on Sunday, we didn’t want package stores open on Sunday and most of us do not believe in package store’s selling on Sunday
Mr. Tim Pollard interjected; it may not be this council that does it, but fifteen (15) years down the road or ten (10) years down the road you may not be sitting here to make a decision.
Mayor Pollard questioned; how long has Evansville had alcohol sales for restaurants only and no package sales on Sunday, fifty (50) to sixty (60) years?
Alderman Davis responded; as long as he could remember.
Mr. Brown replied; what was the big deal, why couldn’t we have no alcohol sales for just one (1) day a week.
Mr. Atteberry responded; Sunday is the second most profitable shopping day for a lot of businesses, people leave Carmi to go to Grayville, Evansville or other towns to shop and then go out to eat.
Mr. Brown replied; he didn’t believe that had a thing to do with it.
Alderman Davis responded; all the council is trying to do is give restaurants an opportunity and it is up to each business to offer it. It is like Chick-Fil-A choosing not to be open on Sunday and every time I want Chick-Fil-A they are closed on Sunday that is their right to be closed on Sunday if they choose to do so. Just because we offer a liquor license to a restaurant to serve alcohol on Sunday they might choose to not sell on Sunday. We are sitting here debating over something we do not know at this point.
Mr. Brown replied; you should vote for our feelings and what we think.
Alderman Davis responded; that is what I’m telling you.
Mr. Norris interjected; that he appreciates the stance that Chick-Fil-A takes. There is something to say in the fact that our city does not have enough liquor licenses to distribute and that makes me kind of proud. People can go to another city; I do not like that because I want our city to prosper but at the same time I am proud that this city has some standards. If we are going to argue standards then why even have any, why have any hours at all, why not just do away with the hours and let them sell all night twenty-four (24) seven (7). I believe we can all agree that there is some benefit in a community to have some sort of parameter to sell alcohol. We all have chosen to not live in Evansville or somewhere else and raise our kids here in Carmi.
Mayor Pollard responded; we all go to Evansville to shop and while we are there and we will stop and eat while there.
Mr. Norris replied; that’s because it is an hour away.
Mr. Jimmy Pollard commented; but you have nothing to offer as far as shopping goes and shouldn’t even be brought into the conversation, other than a Wal-Mart.
Mayor Pollard responded; there a lot of people that come to Carmi from Norris City and all the surrounding areas that will shop at our Wal-Mart, if there here and they want to eat somewhere and we have these restaurants here they will stop and eat.
Mr. McClure interjected; he had moved here from Pigeon Forge, Tennessee and everybody here loves to go to Pigeon Forge to eat or shop. The people at Pigeon Forge go to Knoxville to eat or shop, they do not stay in Pigeon Forge. You can build whatever you want here, but people will still go out of town.
Mayor Pollard responded; that he agreed with that!
Mr. Tim Pollard interjected; when he was a kid it was a treat to go to Evansville, there was no money to do so and people just stayed in Carmi. Times have changed and to venture out to Evansville is just an hour away and like to get out.
Mayor Pollard responded; that is where I was at yesterday.
Mrs. Sharron Pollard inquired; you are talking about restaurant sales only and when you read the definition, were meals were served without sleeping establishments.
Mayor Pollard and Alderman Hays responded; yes and that is what is in the ordinance and he doesn’t understand why that is in the ordinance.
Alderman Headlee replied; that is why we are here discussing this, the ordinance is thirty-one (31) years old.
Chief Hamblin noted; the Liquor Ordinance talks about ambient light being three (3) feet above the floor or so may foot candles from it. It needs to be revamped and brought up to date. It is a decision of the Mayor and council to decide what parts they feel need to be changed.
Alderman Winkleman interjected; we have said that alcohol is here and we are a wet town. That is why we have ordinances to control when they drink how long they can drink and that is what we are here for. We are here to set the ordinances straight and there are some things that have to be corrected and we hope that we correct them in the right way. His hope is that we all can come to a consensus and not argue about this stuff, it has been thirty-one (31) years since they have been revised and some of them are outdated.
Mr. Jimmy Pollard responded; that we are not arguing over setting guidelines. The majority of the argument has been over Sunday sales. We want just one (1) day for families to enjoy not having to sit beside or whatever and if you choose to go to Evansville and you’re going to Evansville anyway and while you’re there you may choose to have one. I think Chief would agree with me that with one (1) or two (2) drinks you’re over the legal limit.
Chief Hamblin responded; that no, not one or two drinks would put you over the limit.
Mr. Jimmy Pollard responded; it still affects you.
Chief Hamblin replied; I know you are coming from a good place out of concern, but this is probably not the time or place to get into a conversation of how alcohol affects people. I’m not trying to smug you one way or the other, I would be happy to talk to you about it later.
Mr. Jimmy Pollard responded; right I just wanted to talk about how alcohol does have an effect.
Mr. O’Neal questioned; if I drink three (3) beers, go to another place and drink three (3) beers I don’t have to take it home but I have to drive home.
Chief Hamblin responded; that is the problem!
Mr. O’Neal replied; he sees in the papers every week that you are catching more young girls and young ladies in Carmi that are driving drunk just ask these young ladies behind me about them drinking.
Mr. Cook questioned; you are not even considering or proposing something to the ordinance that would require any business to sell alcohol on Sunday, right? You’re not considering any kind of changes to the ordinance that would require citizens of Carmi to drink on Sunday? That would be ridiculous, this idea that just because it is there suddenly everybody has to go do it. It is ridiculous and has no bearing on the conversation.
Mr. McClure responded; nobody has said that you have to do it.
Alderman Hays noted; that we are arguing our personal choices and we are placing blame on the alcohol and it always comes back to the personal choice. We as a council cannot tell somebody what they can or cannot do. Alcoholism needs to be addressed one on one and as a Christian we need to say can I help you, but nothing done by the council is going to change that it is not a governing responsibility. Everybody who drinks on Sunday now we are not going to get them to quit drinking, but we are not going to make one person start either. We are arguing personal choices and personal choices is not the debate.
Mr. Darren Hays commented; he belongs to a local lodge and that lodge would not be affected by the change but if he went to Tequila’s for supper or dinner on Sunday and wanted to have a margarita and the next Sunday not have a margarita then he should be able to do so. Thinks it would be nice if the council would extend the time to establishments to an extra hour or hours that way it would be easier to have bands and generate more revenue. He believes that if we are going to help local restaurants by allowing alcohol sales on Sunday then they should help other existing businesses that been here for hundreds of years to make more money also. Was with a hard rock band for ten years, most everywhere they played the establishment closed at 3:00 A.M. and when they played in Carmi “last call” was 11:30 P.M. and couldn’t even get through their first set and had to leave. We are not asking for 3:00 A.M. but if you give another hour it would give them an option to decide if they wanted to close, but would have that option for entertainment.
Chief Hamblin responded; believes that most of the laws are to the benefit of the public and public safety. You can’t legislate morality because everyone has a different moral code. I do not think the issue should be morality.
Mayor Pollard commented; it is about time that we wrap this up for the night and we will take every consideration.
Mr. Tim Pollard commented; he respects everybody that is sitting up there and your decisions, I just think it would be appreciated that you take into consideration our opinions. I have been were you’re at I know how it is and it is tough sitting up there, just try to take into consideration what we have asked.
Mayor Pollard responded; like he has said from day one, that is why he did it this way.
Mr. Tim Pollard noted: that he appreciated that. You could have done it the other way.
Mayor Pollard responded; he does not care one way or another on what we do. We have both grown up here and there is nothing here, everybody has left or gone away. His son has moved to Chicago and the likely hood of him seeing his grandkids is slim, his daughter has moved to Evansville and is a little closer due to being in school but who says she is going to stay there. We have nothing here to bring young people back and that is why I have been so diligent in trying to get the hospital open, I realize we need some type of hospital or emergency care so we can pull industry here and when we do pull industry here we have to start looking at the aspect of what are we going to do if we need more restaurants, what are we going to do to grow. That is how the whole broad thing came about and sure there have been some things, you know because you were here that things were going to have to be discussed and while we were discussing it I felt we needed to put it all out there for discussion. My idea was to bring it all out at once, talk to the community and see what it is they want to do, talk with each other to come up with a game plan that is for Carmi and that is how all of this got started.
Mr. Dave Edwards commented; he thinks it is wonderful that as a council they are having progressive ideas and that is what is needed for Carmi. Also agrees, as our fore fathers did to separate religion and government that line should not be crossed.
Mayor Pollard responded; that he appreciated that!
Mr. Glenn Coleman questioned; is this last conversation about the Liquor Ordinance?
Mayor Pollard responded; at this point we will have to go back through all of the notes for discussion. It will be months before anything is decided or voted on.
Alderman Hays commented; before Corndays!
Mayor Pollard responded; no, it would not happen before Corndays! It would have been nice to do so but it is not going to happen.
Mayor Pollard responded; he wanted to be able to go through and get an accurate count of who was for and who was against each specific change to the Liquor ordinance. As an Alderman for four (4) years that was the way I always voted on topics, I never voted on what my personal views were on things. I would always vote on how my constituents felt in my ward and that is how I want this process to go.
Mr. Coleman noted; he has been quiet, listening, gleaning as much information as he can and listening to the opinions of others and whatever decision are made will affect his business. As he gets closer to opening up the restaurant part of his business model, he is trying to decide if there is going to be a Sunday or not have a Sunday. I am completely neutral on Sunday and if you choose not to have Sunday I will honor that.
Mayor Pollard responded; that you could still have the restaurant open on Sunday.
Mr. Coleman replied; he could and he might very well do that. If he sees support for the restaurant side then there would be no need to sell liquor on Sunday. If that is the decision that this council were to make, however as Chief Hamblin noted that there are other businesses in town that rely heavily on Sunday liquor sales in order to be successful and they are not necessarily restaurants. When and if you say no to Sunday sales then you are probably going to say no for anybody and that may affect other organizations that rely heavily on Sunday sales. I hope everybody in this room understands that.
Mr. Jimmy Pollard commented; that the country club was a private club.
Mayor Pollard responded; it is not set up that way.
Chief Hamblin replied; that is part of the issue here and when it’s done and they give me my marching orders for the law that they passed, it will be across the board.
Mayor Pollard responded; then there would not be a country club open on Sunday if that’s the case.
Chief Hamblin responded; he is just saying he wants to see everything fair and across the board.
Mr. Jimmy Pollard noted; that he respected the Chief for that.
Mr. Coleman replied; whatever the council decides he will abide by the decision, he just wants everybody to have to abide.
Alderman Headlee commented; you just want everyone too.
Mr. Coleman responded; also concerning new licenses he is not for them concerning our population level but knows that it would be contingent on the council to do so.
Mayor Pollard responded; we can bring it up anytime we want too. If we decide not to do more liquor license and Sunday sales right now, we can bring it up at a later date. Nothing has been written in stone and signed at this point; we are in the feeling out stages, luckily for me Brian has taken some awesome notes for me to go back in the minutes and meetings we have had before. Like I said, we will start with that and take everyone’s comments and considerations and if the Alderman get out and hear what they hear in their wards, that’s where we will go with this.
Mr. Coleman responded; he wants to emphasize the last point he was making, that pouring establishments that are hear in town would not be looking forward to having an additional license with our current population because we are all struggling. There is not a club in town that is not looking for an alternative revenue source because there is not a lot of consumption and so we talked about the relaxation of hours from a safety stand point, from a revenue stand point, from a business aspect and again whatever you folks decide we all have to try and design a model that would work and be profitable, but still would give all of Carmi an opportunity to have a restaurant or have a libation or whatever their choice is we have to try and accommodate everybody.
Mr. Brown commented; look how well Two Tony’s did and they didn’t serve alcohol. People came from everywhere to eat there and they never sold a bit of liquor.
Mayor Pollard responded; I wish we still had Two Tony’s. Your right! If we had somebody that would be willing to open up another place like that, it would be awesome.
Alderman Winkleman commented; I don’t think you could force Gottzz’s to sell liquor on Sunday. I bet they wouldn’t sell any; every church person in town goes to Gottzz’s for lunch after church and wouldn’t sell liquor on Sunday’s if they could.
Alderman Blake responded; I don’t think they would down there either.
Alderman Hays responded; I don’t think they would.
Mayor Pollard; alright we are going to close the meeting and I appreciate everybody’s input. The surprise to this is that we actually do not have to go into closed session.
Alderman Hays responded; can we, I have a couple of things we need to go over real quick
Mayor Pollard commented; do you need too.
Alderman Hays responded; yes. It will be quick.
Mr. Bill Sneed commented; my thinking is that the town the size of Carmi, it is a shame that there are not more people that are concerned on how the city runs and that this place is not full every night.
Mayor Pollard responded; let me tell you, I can go with that and agree because on the first night Sharron, Jimmy and about four (4) other people, on the second night it was Sharron and Glenn were the only two (2) here.
Mayor Pollard Commented; that he was misinformed and that he was going to have to ask for a motion to go into closed session.
A motion was made by Alderman Winkleman and seconded by Alderman Lamont to go into closed session for the purpose of discussing personnel issues with no action to follow.
At 7:14 P.M., council went into Closed Session.
Motion by Alderman Hays and seconded by Alderman Winkleman to return to open session and adjourn.
At 7:46 P.M., council voted to adjourn.
Brian K. Allen, City Clerk
Jeff Pollard, Mayor
Recording on Clerk’s computer: …open with Windows Media Player
Documents / My Documents / COUNCIL MEETINGS / MINUTES / 2013 / 8 August MIN / Council Meeting. 08.19.2013 529p.m4a