Written by Hillsboro Free Press Wednesday, 17 October 2007 13:21
City would gain by respecting differences
Most people will likely agree on at least one thing: The issue of liquor by the drink in the city of Hillsboro ignites much passion and opinion; there will always be two distinctly opposing sides on the issue.
However, the matter was taken to a vote by the county in 2004. The majority of the citizens voted to allow the sale of alcohol within the county.
Because of our democratic society and how such a society functions, I am finding it difficult to understand why our city officials are expending time and energy discussing the matter of liquor by the drink in a restaurant setting.
How can it even be considered “to isolate it (liquor) to one or more zoning districts.” The people did not vote for it to be limited; they voted that it be lawful to sell alcohol in Marion County. Period.
I believe our elected officials are opening themselves up to bigger problems than they are equipped to deal with if they begin isolating and limiting the law to certain areas.
Attaching strings to laws voted on by the people creates a huge mess. That would be like allowing trespassing on the north side of Main, but prohibiting it on the south side of Main.
God bless our democratic society that allows us the freedom to vote. No, sometimes the final tally doesn’t go the way we cast our vote, and we have to live with the choices contradictory to our opinion. But that is called “life.”
I believe it is very naive to think that isolating the sale of liquor will keep it out of the hands of minors and decrease the temptation for some to consume alcohol.
In fact, I believe minors and others tempted by alcohol are less likely to attempt to purchase and consume alcohol in a restaurant setting and on the main street of a town than they are to walk into a liquor store located on a busy highway that has people from all over coming and going through its doors.
Furthermore, it troubles me that many in our community believe that only allowing the sale of alcohol in a certain part of town will decrease attempts to purchase and the temptation of some to consume. Those tempted by the consumption of alcohol will find a way to purchase the beverage.
Maybe we need to do some self-reflection and assessment of what we are teaching our children and grandchildren, and assess “what kind of values we are instilling in them as they grow up in our homes.
Maybe we need to research what kinds of educational programs are being taught in our schools and in our church youth groups about the dangers of alcohol and addiction.
Maybe we need to invest more in getting to the root of “why” several high school athletes were caught drinking alcohol and make sure they are held accountable for their mislead choices and be educated on the consequences of such choices.
Maybe we need to find positive ways to encourage responsible choices, honor the differences in our neighbors and celebrate the freedoms and blessings of living in a democratic society.
Each of us has chosen to live in Hillsboro and Marion County. Some of us have chosen to provide services to the citizen of our community by owning businesses. It has been my experience that many of the business owners and employees of Hillsboro businesses are very committed to providing quality services, personal customer service and economical choices to the community.
Many of my fellow business owners spend tireless hours finding creative ways to market our businesses to attract visitors to our community. We recognize that many different things attract different people to make the choice to visit our community and contribute to the economical survival of our town.
It is our responsibility to provide our residents, as well as our visitors, a variety of goods, services and activities, economical value, and quality customer service.
We know that not everyone is going to like everything about the goods we sell or the services we provide, but that is called being a part of a community and respecting the diversity that makes up the society in which we live.
Festival off to a good start in Goessel
The first Harvest Festival at Goessel was a huge success this last weekend. I would like to thank the community for supporting this event.
Also a big thank you to the following for their help: Citizens State Bank, Crossroads Credit Union, Darwin and Kyle Funk, Main Street Station, Goessel High School junior class, GHS girls’ basketball team, GHS cheerleaders, Joe Wuest, Jim Wiens, Don Stahl, Jerry Schrader, Keith Banman and the Justus Band.
Thanks to Anita Goertzen for all her extra hard work on this project. I look forward to another success next year.