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New alcohol petition begins after TABC nixes first attempt

By Matt Kelton
Pioneer Sentinel

A petition to legalize alcohol sales in Henrietta was turned down by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission late last week, forcing Justin O’Malley, promoter of the petition to start the process over.

The TABC took issue with the wording of the petition, which called for beer, alcohol and liquor, but did not include any language about the sale of alcohol on or off premises.

The petition was submitted to the TABC for approval on June 6. On June 8, O’Malley began collecting signatures. The TABC denied the petition on Wednesday, June 13.

“The TABC guy, I guess he was on vacation or something,” said O’Malley. “He called us back after six days and said, ‘Hey, this is not the right legal language, it needs to say this.’” So we had to throw it out and start over.”

In six days, O’Malley had collected 215 of the 303 signatures – 35 percent of registered voters – needed to get the issue on the ballot in the November general election.

“You get setbacks sometimes, but you just have to keep rolling with it,” said O’Malley.

The petition was resubmitted on Thursday, June 14, and approved June 15. Over the weekend, O’Malley collected 60 signatures.

The petition calls for legalization of the sale of all alcoholic beverages, including mixed drinks for consumption on and off premises.

The petition is going to be for all types of alcohol permits, from manufacturing, to wineries, to open container on and off premises for restaurants, liquor stores and beer and wine sales.

“There won’t be any restrictions as far as permits we can get in Henrietta,” said O’Malley. “I think we are well set up toactually have a brewery and distributorship here. That’s one of the businesses I think would be very beneficial to this town and our location would be ideal.”

O’Malley has until July 10 to collect the require signatures to get a measure on the Nov. 6 ballot.


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The Pioneer Sentinel is an online newspaper designed to deliver the news of Clay County, Texas, in a concise and community-friendly format.

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