Archive for Thursday, March 31, 2005

Measure allowing Sunday liquor sales on Tuesday ballot

March 31, 2005

Eudora resident Darrell Stillian stopped Monday at Mike's Liquor, looking to pick up a six-pack of beer on his way home from work.

Stillian said he would stop at the store on Sundays, too, if it were open.

"Eudora doesn't have any liquor stores," he said. "It's closer than Lawrence."

De Soto voters will decide Tuesday if the city's charter should be amended to allow the city to opt out of the state law prohibition on Sunday liquor sales.

As he left R&D's Liquor on Lexington Avenue with a 12-pack for his painting crew, Thayne Riffel said he was in favor of the change although never purchased alcohol on Sundays. His support was based in part on the consequence on city coffers.

"It doesn't bother me because the way I look at it is that it happens elsewhere anyway," he said. "The city might as well get the tax revenue as have it go elsewhere."

Riffel saw the vote as a part of the trend that started with the repealing of so-called blue laws that used to mandate the closure of all businesses in some communities. Store owners should decide whether or not they opened Sundays, he said.

Since Kansas courts ruled two years ago that cities could opt out of the state charter, Olathe, Bonner Springs, Lawrence and Shawnee have done just that. After the latest round of voter-approved charter changes last August, Mike's Liquor Store owner Richard Brazukas asked the City Council to put the measure before voters, saying he was losing money to stores in nearby cities and would like the opportunity to build his business with another day of sales.

Should voters approve the charter amendment and the City Council follow up with an ordinance, Sunday liquor sales would be limited to liquor stores and wouldn't apply to convenience, grocery stores and other outlets. City Attorney Patrick Reavey told the City Council that sales could be prohibited on Christmas or other holidays.

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