County refuses to revisit alcohol petitions - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

County refuses to revisit alcohol petitions


One group says there are still questions that need to be answered before Smith County residents vote on whether alcohol can be sold in Precinct 2.

And now, they're asking the Smith County Commissioners Court to allow another opportunity to discuss the local option decision at their next County Commissioners meeting this Tuesday, Aug. 14.

Members of Stand Strong for Tyler told me two weeks ago that the county would not be able to verify the 6,579 signatures needed to put the issue on the ballot in November -- but the very next day, the Court determined that there were enough signatures to go forward.

Now, Stand Strong for Tyler is running into another roadblock -- they say the county won't let them on the agenda for next Tuesday's Commissioners Court meeting.

Stand Strong for Tyler says hundreds of signatures that were verified should have been disqualified, saying that there were duplicate and triplicate signatures, that people signed who don't live in Precinct 2, and that others failed to provide all the correct identification information needed to count their signatures.

And they say the Commissioners Court isn't listening to their concerns.

"Our game plan is we have to go forward. We have to challenge it in the courts. That's what we're going to have to do. If they'd listen, if they'd look at what was going on, it's simple, black and white information," said Mike Daniels, Chair for Stand Strong for Tyler.

"As hard as we have worked to try to give the citizens of Tyler an opportunity to choose by their vote in November, the opposition group is doing everything within their power to rob the citizens of Tyler and Smith County of their right to choose," said Bob Westbrook, Chair of Buy Local First.

Mr. Daniels told me Friday that Stand Strong for Tyler submitted their request to appear on the agenda this past Wednesday.

A spokesperson for Smith County declined to conduct an interview this afternoon, but she did say that, according to state law, the agenda is required to be posted 72 hours in advance of the meeting.

She also said that, according to Rule Three of Smith County's Commissioners Court meetings, all requests and necessary paperwork for agenda items to come before the Commissioners Court must be submitted electronically to the county judge and to the Commissioners Court no later than noon on the Tuesday prior to the next regular meeting.

And with all November ballots being finalized on Tuesday, August 21, this Commissioners Court meeting will be the last one to hear arguments against allowing the alcohol issue on the county ballot in the fall.

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