An effort to place the sale of beer and wine in Henrietta on the ballot in May’s municipal elections fell short Tuesday when the deadline to submit signatures arrived.
Tommy Lyde, who led the petition drive, said Friday that he did not see the effort as a failure. Lyde said that supporters of bringing the sale of alcohol to Henrietta would try again, if there were enough interest.
A petition signed by 10 registered voters is required to start the process. The petition was delivered to city hall Oct. 27.
Once the petition is delivered, supporters have 60 days to collect the signatures of 35 percent of registered voters who voted in the last gubernatorial election and live within the city limits. The city provides a list of those eligible to sign.
On deadline day, Dec. 27, supporters submitted 232 valid signatures. Not counted were 21 signatures deemed invalid due to residence or as not having met voter guidelines. Supporters needed 302 signatures to put the issue on the ballot.
City Administrator Kelley Bloodworth said 864 Henrietta residents are eligible to sign such a petition.
Supporters of the effort had hoped that legalizing the sale of beer and wine in Henrietta would provide a boost to local sales tax revenues, which have fallen dramatically in recent years. There was no organized opposition to the effort.
Applications for signatures were available at several convenience stores and businesses in Henrietta, a tactic with benefits as well as drawbacks, said Lyde. The biggest drawback being that it is hard to oversee who is signing, which Lyde believes led to the invalid signatures.