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Councilman speaks out against beer and wine election

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LANCASTER - The local option election for the sale of off-site consumption for Beer and Wine isn’t setting well with District 5 Councilman Clyde Hairston.

During the Monday, Oct. 11 council meeting, Hairston requested to speak as a citizen during citizen comments.

"My wife and I decided to move here 21 years ago because Lancaster was dry," said Hairston.

"Now I am hearing talks of beer taverns, lounges and S.O.B.s - Sexually Oriented Businesses."

Hairston claims the city will turn into areas of South Dallas.

"If you want to see what happens when you allow the sale of alcohol into the city, just go down Martin Luther King Boulevard and some of the other neighborhoods in South Dallas."

A Political Action Committee, It’s About OUR Business, has formed in support of the proposition with vote "For" signs popping up in yards all across the city.

"If we want to see Lancaster maximize economic resources and operate with the same competitive advantages as our neighboring cities, we need to support the proposition to allow the off-premise sale of beer and wine as a united effort to move Lancaster forward," stated the committee via e-mail for request to comment.

Cities across the southern parts of Dallas County, including Wilmer, DeSoto and Hutchins have already made the move and voted "for."

As recently as this past May, neighboring Ellis County city, Red Oak, passed the same local option election Lancaster has proposed on their ballot.

Early voting is Oct. 25-29 and election day is Tuesday, Nov. 2.


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Concerned Lancaster Citizen 10/14/2010 16:12:00
In response to District 5 Councilman Clyde Hairston's remarks "My wife and I decided to move here 21 years ago because Lancaster was dry," it must be noted that 21 years ago a majority of Lancaster's neighboring communities were dry and as such the idea that Mr. Hairston moved to Lancaster for that sole reason is highly unlikely.
I must point out as well that the neighboring cities of Lancaster are now, in majority, wet and have not become like, as Mr. Hairston would suggest,"Martin Luther King Boulevard and some of the other neighborhoods in South Dallas." In fact, one only has to look as far as De Soto to see the positive effects alcohol sales can have on a city! Let us not forget cities such as Highland Park and Addison, both which not only allow beer and wine sales but liquor, which truly show the prosperity that can be achieved in a wet city!
In response to Mr.Hairston's claims of "beer taverns, lounges, and S.O.B.s" popping up, it must be noted that restaurants are already able to sell beer and wine on premise and as such allowing retail sales of beer and wine is hardly opening the floodgates to sin. Such thinking truly is reminiscent of the prohibition era and shows how antiquated Mr. Hairston's views are.
Additionally, I am surprised that the due diligence done on Mr. Hairston in the last election, specifically his illegally unreported campaign contributions, was not included in this article! It is quite easy to trace a portion of these unreported contributions to beer and wine retailers in Dallas, a city that has sales to lose if Lancaster becomes wet!
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Another Concerned Lancaster Citizen 10/14/2010 20:39:15
Reverend Hairston has continued to fight economic development in this city by fighting beer and wine sales. He continually misrepresents the effects of those sales for our area. He is worried about becoming sin city, but doesn't mind misrepresenting the truth. Without beer and wine sales, Lancaster will be the hole of the donut with sales tax dollars being siphoned off to all neighboring cities. Adults enjoy beer and wine. They drive to surrounding communities to buy it, along with their groceries and other miscellaneous items. They may stop for gas, fast food or go to a restaurant while they are out. They will do all of this in another city, because they simply wanted to buy a bottle of wine with their groceries. The city council recently raised the property tax rate. If Reverend Hairston had not accepted Dallas liquor money 4 years ago to fight the vote, we would not be in the economic fix we are in today. The last vote passed restaurant mixed beverage. Where are the bars, taverns, and SOB's? The last vote did not pass beer and wine in grocery stores. What we don't have because of it is, Costco, QuikTrip, Target, and numerous other retailers that will not come if they cannot sell B & W. We also will not have a beer and wine distribution center in the struggling logistics centers that have located here. This is too important to our economy for Reverend Hairston to play his little power game. He may be speaking as a private citizen, but he took a position as a city councilman to do what is right for Lancaster. This IS right for Lancaster. Cease the games Reverend Hairston. This is America. We have the right to buy a substance that is not illegal and keep the money in our city where it belongs!!!
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Jack McCauley 10/14/2010 21:27:37
It's a shame that Reverend Hairston's mindset is so against economic development. He has exaggerated and used fear tactic remarks camouflaged as faith based concerns while failing to provide any real substance in his arguments. None of the surrounding communities that have voted in the OFF-PREMISE Sale of Beer & Wine have had any negative changes within their communities. To the contrary, they have all experienced increased sales tax revenue and economic development as the result of passing this sensitive proposition issue. This proposition is only for the OFF-PREMISE sale of beer and in no way allows for the on premise sale and consumption of such beverages as he dimly suggested.
If the alligations are true that Reverend Hairston did indeed accept money to campaign against this proposition in the past, we should be questioning him why he as a member of our City Council accepted private funds from unseemly sources to campaign against a local proposition. Citizens of Lancaster should expect better representation from our Council Members.
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Spencer Hervey 10/15/2010 12:37:55
It really concerns me that an elected city representative, with all access to the facts and the knowledge of past, understanding our city requirements, could take a position that is not in the best financial interest of the citizens, regarding improvements.

Since the beginning of Lancaster's journey to become wet, thus benefitting from the sales tax dollars being spent outside of the city, a group of concerned citizens have fought to bring the factual story to the front. We have recruited fellow citizens, business owners, and outside investors to assist us, to do something that would help us cause our city to prosper going into the 21st Century. We want our children to stay in Lancaster, to come back after college and the military. We want them to know that they can prosper with jobs, have safety, quality of life and entertainment. We want to surround them with a beautiful city including them and their interests.
We want them to know that they can grow old here in a city that cares. We have lost so much, when it comes down to dollars (millions), businesses (big box types like Cosco, Target, and a bigger Wal-Mart), and increased tax dollars to support our city staffs (Parks & Recreation, Police Dept., Fire Dept., and Administrative staffs). We should be looking at additional tax dollars to support infra-structure items such as basic cleanup teams, road repair, water and pipeline repair, trash and recylcing benefits. The city needs money to pay for decreasing dollars due to the economic situation and decreasing values regarding homes, which automatically lowers our tax intake. If you can't come up with ideas to benefit our position, how in the world, can you sit back and shoot holes into reasonable ideas that are working for our sister cities? We were the first to raise the neccessary money to put on this type of election in the southern sector and we spent the money here, to put people on the streets, with the supplies to build a voter's registration base, to cause an election. The city has benefited with involvement, by increasing our voter base in Lancaster. Now we have a chance to cause additional drivers to stop in Lancaster, with money and the idea that they are going to spend it here on beer and wine. This is the trigger or devise that we need. While they are here, we plan to attract other businesses, that will allow them to make additional decisions to spend here. We need our leadership with us, not behind us. Help us to plan, prepare and make the best usage of these tax dollars to improve Lancaster. Don't be afraid of change. With time, it comes to all things. We need our leadership out front, where they are suppose to be, LEADING.
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Lancaster Born and Raised 10/15/2010 13:32:24
Seems like ever since Mr., and I wont call him reverned because its an insult to all real pastors, Harriston moved here 20 years ago Lancaster has gone straight down hill and is now the cesspool of south dallas. He is a corrupt politician and pastor, really the bottom of the river in human existance. Its time for Lancaster to rise up against his oppression and vote for the proposition and then vote him out of office.
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