Booze question on Bladen County ballot

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Submitted: Thu, 05/01/2014 - 2:31am
Updated: Thu, 05/01/2014 - 3:41am

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY)– When booze is on the ballot there is no shortage of opinions and come next Tuesday voters will make their opinions law.

Along the sleepy roads of Bladen County there are places to stop and buy beer just not everywhere.

Robin Summerlin is part of a group pushing for alcohol sales he says a yes vote is just common sense.

“Absolutely,” Summerlin said, “we’re trying to create a positive progressive campaign to encourage people to vote for the referendum.”

A referendum that would allow any store in Bladen County to sell beer and wine.

Meaning towns that were previously dry could face a wet reality.

We think that there are other ways that it can be done

Reverend Chris Carrol with Elizabethtown Baptist Church hopes the people vote no.

“We look forward to helping this community grow but to grow in a way that will please god,” said Carroll.

He and his church are members of the Bladen Baptist Association and are fighting hard to get out the no vote.

The argument for the referendum though increased revenue saying countywide beer and wine sales will bring in more money when towns start selling it.

That’s not the point Carrol says.

“We also believe that there are other fruitful ways that can bring in revenue, that will bring in even more revenue, in a way that does promote the community known as Elizabethtown,” he added.

Though Elizabethtown already sells beer and wine and folks like Robin Summerlin say that’s the point.

“It’s less of a drive to purchase a product,” he says, “that’s already legal.”

If passed the referendum would not allow towns to opt out. Meaning if a town is currently dry it will be stripped of that title.

It certainly does not mean any store will have to sell alcohol that would be up to the owner of the business.


  • Black says:

    Vote Yes….Some people live 15 to 20 miles away from the nearest Town…gasoline prices are too High too travel. ..*Vote YeS*

  • Guest2020 says:

    Most people who live out in the country have to drive a good distance for everything they do. This isn’t limited to alcohol.

  • TiredOfBladen'sBackwardness says:

    Bladen County’s esteemed leadership are highly imaginative when it comes up with ways to “increase revenue” by making alcohol and gambling parlors available county-wide to its poor and unemployed.

    Our leaders have never devoted one minute of time to attracting clean industry to Bladen, one of the poorest counties in NC. Clean and green is a concept that is inconceivable in Bladen.

    Ordinary citizens have no input into county government. There are a group of self-interested businessmen who control everything. The county is too poor to support an automotive dealership, but alcohol, lottery tickets, and cigarettes are enticements enough for our poor and unemployed. Along our highways are numerous used-car lots.

    Take a ride through Bladen, and you will see roadsides blighted with litter, abandoned houses and trailers, and eyesores about everywhere you look.

    What Bladen desperately needs is intelligent, innovative leadership. Instead, we have a coterie of businessmen with shared interests who are dedicated to keeping Bladen one of the poorest and most ignorant counties in North Carolina.

  • Jackson says:

    This push to make beer and wine available in every store in Bladen County is a crackpot idea. We know who’s buying the beer and wine, and it’s bought mostly by Bladen’s poor, who spend much of their social welfare checks unwisely. Alcohol is a terrible social problem, but, hey, it “brings in revenue.”

    I don’t usually have anything in common with the Bladen Baptist Association, an organization too fundamentalist for my tastes, but on this alcohol issue I am with them all the way.

  • Guest2020 says:

    I think they are doing the right thing by leaving it up to the voters.

  • Timekeeper says:

    While I agree alcohol, tobacco and gambling is a serious problem, especially for the lower classes, they are going to get it somewhere. If not Bladen County, they will spend their money elsewhere. It only makes economic sense to let Bladen get some of the revenue. I have always been opposed to open bars, but package stores where people buy their party supplies and take it home is fine with me.

  • Guest 2012 says:

    Some preachers are against the referendum because they feel that their congregations want them to be. It doesn’t stop their members from taking a nip now and again. During vacation go to the lake or the beach to visit some of them and look into their refrigerators. What some pastors do not realize is that some denominations allow the use of alcoholic beverages among their members and even use real wine in their communion instead of grape juice.

    Bootleggers don’t want competition. Thus they discourage legal sales of their product. Thus, preachers and bootleggers will fight this to the bitter end. They always have and always will.

    What preachers may not realize is that they are driving a wedge into their congregations as more people imbibe than they realize. A guilt trip is mind control. Lighten up and quit acting foolish, pastors. Let the people decide without their interference.

    The ministers should begin a fight against illegal drugs, including those who visit their doctors with “pain” and sell their pills. Talk to any cop and they will tell you that they have more problems with drugs than they do with alcohol. If preachers would put as much energy into the fight against illegal drugs as they have with this vote, it might have some effect. It is worth a try.

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