WHITESBORO — Whitesboro residents will not only vote on a number of state and county political offices in November, but they will also vote to keep the town dry or let it go wet.
Justin Hull filed a petition to bring the question before the voters. Town Clerk Dee Cooper said she as far as anyone who works at the city knows, this is the first time the residents have voted on the wet/dry question.
“The growth is going to be inevitable especially up through the (U.S. Highway) 377 corridor,” Hull said.
Hull said he thinks the growth coming into the city of just under 4,000 residents demands that they make some changes and one of those is the sale or alcohol.
He readily admits when he first started the push to make the town wet, he had plans to open a liquor store. Those plans fell through, he said, but that didn’t stop him from supporting the idea of allowing alcohol sales.
Hull said he still thinks it is necessary to attract new business and to expand the tax base. He said sales taxes from the sale of alcohol could allow the city to hire more people and offer more services.
But not everyone in town thinks alcohol sales are the way to increase revenue for the city.
First Baptist Church of Whitesboro Pastor Mike Flanagan said he thinks allowing the sale of alcohol could increase the incidences of alcoholism and the problems that can accompany that.
“From the beginning of the ministry — God called me to in the 1980s — I have seen over and over the negative effects that alcohol consumption and alcoholism has on individuals, family members and friends,” Flanagan said in a written statement. “I have seen the effects it has on job performance, even leading to eventual loss of job and said income by rendering the person unable to function. I am not writing from an ivory tower, as some of these I have witnessed are my very own family members.
“Does this happen to every person who drinks? No, certainly and thankfully not, however, almost every alcoholic you speak with didn’t start drinking to become one!”
He also pointed out that his experience as a counselor has been that alcoholism often destroys families and the lives of individuals.
Early voting for the election starts Oct. 22 and runs through Nov. 2. Early votes may be cast at Grayson County Elections Administration Office, 115 W. Houston in Sherman; Grayson County Sub-courthouse, 101 W. Woodard in Denison; Pottsboro ISD Administration Building, 105 Cardinal Lane in Pottsboro; Whitesboro City Hall, 111 W. Main in Whitesboro and Grayson College, 1455 W. Van Alstyne Parkway in Van Alstyne.