Weatherford Democrat

Local News

August 15, 2012

Alcohol, emergency services among November ballot items

PARKER COUNTY — Still several months away from the November general election, a wide variety of issues and races appear to be headed for local ballots.

Hospital district

For the first time, hospital district board of directors elections, held every other year, will be held in November instead of May and those interested still have time to file to be on the ballot.

All four precinct positions on the hospital board, currently held by Melvin Woody, Jamie Bodiford-Brinkley, James Austin and David Barbrick, will be up for election in November. The three at-large board of director positions will not be up for election until 2014.

All four have picked up paperwork to file to run again, according to hospital district CEO Randall Young. The last day to file to be on the ballot is Monday, Aug. 20.

Because of the recent change in state voting laws, the district would have had to buy new voting machines to hold their own election in May.

It was going to be expensive to do that, so the board opted to hold its election in November instead and contract with the county to hold the election at the same time as the November general election, according to Young.

Beer and wine sales

A local option election for the sale of beer and wine in Precinct 2, the northwest portion of Parker County, is also scheduled for Nov. 6.

If approved by voters, the measure would legalize the sale of beer and wine for off-premise consumption.

Several convenience stores, including Salt Creek Grocery and Grill, Peaster Grocery and Grill and Poolville One Stop, had a petition circulated and collected more than 2,000 signatures in recent months to place the issue on the ballot.

Harjinder Singh, owner of the Salt Creek Grocery, said they get five or six customers a day looking to purchase beer or wine. They currently have to send them about 10 miles away to Springtown, Singh said.

Shaka Ash, who manages both the Salt Creek and Peaster stores, said customers have been asking for alcohol sales for two or three years.

Customers can get beer or wine in the area as Springtown became wet about a year ago, while Weatherford became wet several years ago, according to Ash, who said the wet option makes economic sense, saving customers the gas money of driving 15 to 20 miles, as well as keeping the tax dollars local.

The shorter the driving distance also means a lesser chance of DWI, Ash said.

The store in Garner would not be affected because of the proximity to the nearby church, while an employee at Snappy’s on Zion Hill Road said the owner does not want to sell alcohol.

Voters in Precinct 1 passed a similar measure in November.

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