This was in response to Trigg Citizens Against Alcohol announcing that they would publish the names of everyone who signed the petition, provided there are enough signatures to allow for a wet/dry vote, when they met the previous week.
“I’m very proud to have my name on a petition that stands for improving the local economy, increasing a tourism and creating jobs in Trigg County,” one person at the meeting said.
The group had 1,423 signatures as of Sunday, said Jan Culwell of Grow Trigg. The group had canvassed for extra signatures Saturday, and they are planning on canvassing for more signatures, she said.
At the Wednesday meeting, Grow Trigg leader Ken Culwell said there were at least 1,269 signatures, and of those 1,111 had been verified as of the meeting last Wednesday, although he also said that there are probably more than 1,111 signatures that are valid. He also said they need at least 1,650 signatures to bring the wet/dry issue to a vote, and hope to have that number by mid-July.
Given the percentage of signatures that may not be able to be verified, however, Culwell said he hopes for at least 1,850 signatures.
Culwell rejected the idea that alcohol destroys lives, and put the blame squarely on the people that abuse alcohol.
“Alcohol abuse destroys families,” Culwell said. “Guns don’t kill people, cars don’t kill people, people do … Alcohol doesn’t destroy anything except an infection on your arm.”
Speaking at the meeting were Kuttawa Mayor Lee McCollum and his wife, Kay McCollum, the former director of Western Waterways Tourism. Both said they haven’t noticed any ill effects from Kuttawa going wet.
The McCollums cited the sheriff of Lyon County, who according to them said instances of driving under the influence, as well as spousal abuse and other crimes, have not gone up since Kuttawa went wet.
The couple talked about the process of getting the sales approved, which Kay McCollum headed up. She said Kuttawa only sells alcohol in restaurants that seat more than 100 people, which didn’t exist when the law was passed. The law brought in the restaurant Oasis and brought with it the annexation of Buzzard Rock into the city, she said.
The Grow Trigg leader took issue with a statement made at the last Trigg Citizens Against Alcohol meeting about the cost of the last election, which was said to be $27,000. Culwell said the last election in 2008 “had nothing to do with alcohol.”
John Bryant, director of the Cadiz-Trigg County Tourism Commission and owner of the restaurant Hot Diggity Dog in Cadiz, also spoke in favor of allowing alcohol in the county. The tourism commission recently came out in favor of a vote on the issue.
“The number one industry in Trigg County and Cadiz is tourism,” Bryant said. “It creates jobs, it brings revenue to us.”
Also talked about were the various regulations concerning political signs. Culwell said that there can be no signs telling someone how to vote until a certain time before an election is held. They also talked about putting “Grow Trigg” signs up.
The next Grow Trigg meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, July 1, at West Cadiz Park.