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Local alcohol sales on Sunday fails to come to vote at commission meeting

By Bonnie Davis Guy
Thursday night’s county commission meeting was standing room only in anticipation of a controversial motion to be made by the Johnson County Beer Board regarding Sunday alcohol sales. Although the courtroom was crowded, the mood was friendly and respectful. In attendance was a representative from the Action Coalition handing out pamphlets called “Under the Influence” and discussing the problem of teen drinking. There were also several local ministers and church groups present. Those who wished to address the commission signed up per protocol and were each given three minutes. The meeting began with Chairman Mike Taylor welcoming the audience and giving a brief overview of meeting protocol, followed by prayer, pledge, and roll call. All commissioners, Bill Adams, Eugene Campbell, Robert “Jerry” Grindstaff, Evelyn Hill, Huey Long, George Lowe, Jimmy Lowe, Steve Marshall, Scott Mast, Gina Meade, Christopher Pierce, Tommy Poore, Bill Roark, Rick Snyder and Mike Taylor were present for the April 2015 meeting.
The first issue addressed to the commission by a county resident was regarding a cemetery on what was McCarty Road being blocked by barricades. Danny Wilton gave his account of being unable to reach the cemetery due to the barricades as well as an impassable road. He became very passionate when he advised the commission of his understanding of Tennessee law giving descendants access to cemeteries even if it is on private property. He asked the commission to look into the legalities concerning the road and to consider taking the road back over as a county road. According to the commissioners, the contract in place with Wiley Roark does list access to the cemetery as a condition of the contract. They will speak with Roark regarding this issue and advise him that blocking the cemetery is a breach of contract. Wilton assured them he would return to the May meeting to address his concern again and find out what is being done to rectify the road situation. Next was Barry Dunn who spoke to the commission on behalf of the church community of Johnson County. He advised the commissioners that for many reasons the church community is adamantly opposed to the sale of all alcoholic beverages in the county on Sundays. Dunn further elaborated that, in fact, the church community as well as others in the county are against the sale of alcohol on any day of the week. This remark awarded Dunn a round of applause and an “amen” from many in the audience. Dunn thanked the commissioners for their time and service upon completing his three minutes.
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