The Montgomery petitioners will in almost all likelihood not appeal the Kentucky Court of Appeal’s Friday, May 13, ruling, which overturned 56th Circuit Judge C.A. “Woody” Woodall’s 2010 decision, said Donald Thomas, attorney for the petitioners.
Although they had the option of appealing the decision to the Kentucky Supreme Court, by the time that court looked at it, they would be able to petition to have a wet/dry vote in either Montgomery Precinct or the county as a whole, said Thomas, who resides in Benton.
“I tend to disagree with their ruling, but we’ll live with it and move forward,” Thomas said, adding that he might have anticipated this ruling, given what he called the court’s “liberal makeup.”
The appeals court ruled that neither the county nor any cities or other territories in the county could have a wet/dry vote less than three years after the previous one, which was held Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2009.
In 2010, Woodall had ruled to let the Montgomery vote proceed, as there were enough signatures on the petition at the time, but after Grow Trigg appealed, the election was stayed and Woodall ruled that no new licenses would be issued until the matter was resolved.
At least one business acquired such a license before Woodall delivered the ruling.
Trigg County Clerk Wanda Thomas said the petitioners would have to file a new petition for a wet/dry vote, as no signatures more than six months old are allowed.
Donald Thomas thinks they have enough signatures for vote in that precinct, although he added that if the precincts are reapportioned and the number of people in those precincts change, the number signatures needed for a vote will change accordingly.
Reapportionment is required after every Census, and the county’s population increased by about 13.8 percent, according to the 2010 Census.
Ken Culwell of Grow Trigg said that while he and other Grow Trigg members were happy with the ruling, he mostly wants “for everyone to be happy and live with the ruling,” and that he didn’t want the issue to divide the county.
Grow Trigg petitioned for a wet/dry vote in the county in 2009, which culminated in the September 2009 referendum, wherein prohibition was repealed by 36 votes.