Beer; booze and vino: Veritas — Part 2

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, June 10, 2014

During Prohibition, bootleg activities actually increased per capita consumption, until the passing of the 21st Amendment in 1933, which officially repealed the earlier Amendment. Yet, it did not change the moral minds, or religious beliefs, of some.

In Picayune today, there are three camps. One would like to see no adult beverages, period. Another would allow them, with some degrees of control. Lastly, some would like no controls, at all. Each pursues their own agenda, with varying fervor. With the Resort Overlay passing in 2011, with over 70 percent of the vote, the clear majority of our Citizens sought the availability of these beverages, mostly for consumption in restaurants. Let us note wine and beer have been available, well before application of the Overlay, with long-wet Hancock County and Louisiana but a short drive away.

A wag has said, “Picayune is about as dry as a good martini.” Perhaps this is so. Yet, all of us are concerned about excess drink. Fingers have been pointed in the direction of misrepresentation, towards those who promoted and campaigned for the Overlay’s passage. This campaign did not happen in a vacuum. It was not proposed one day and then voted upon the next. There was ample time to explore the details. If we were fooled, by not knowing the particulars of the Overlay, then we should examine our charge as Citizens to discern the truth and our failures to do so.

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If our State Legislature, “changed the rules,” after the fact, we still have an obligation to clarify, or modify, the onerous parts of the legislation with calm and cool heads.

The idea of having bars, “in every neighborhood,” is absurd. It ignores the political, financial, legal, and societal responses of our citizens, and local governments. These factors alone would create such a climate of negativity to make the consideration of such an insidious enterprise a folly of titanic proportions.

Our Picayune City Council has gone forward with the investigation of the assertions, which so recently have come to light.

City legal council has made representation the City is working with the State to ameliorate any confusion with the Overlay and City Ordinances.

This is not the time for inflammatory statements, pursuit of personal beliefs, or agendas.

This is the time to acknowledge the majority’s support, of the Overlay, and come together to ensure the appropriate application of it, for us all.