Vot­ers may de­cide al­co­hol bal­lot ques­tion

The Mercury (Pottstown, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Evan Brandt ebrandt@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @PottstownNews on Twit­ter

EAST COVEN­TRY >> Reg­is­tered vot­ers in the town­ship may soon find some­one knock­ing on their door ask­ing if they would like a drink.

More specif­i­cally, they will be ask­ing them if they would like the op­por­tu­nity to vote on buy­ing a drink within the town­ship.

Tues­day was the first day that Town­ship Su­per­vi­sor Michael Moyer and sev­eral other vol­un­teers be­gan knock­ing on doors seek­ing sig­na­tures on two pe­ti­tions.

The first pe­ti­tion re­lates to liquor sales, the sec­ond pe­ti­tion to beer sales.

They need a lot of sig­na­tures to put the ques­tions to the vot­ers, about

whether the town­ship should al­low liquor and beer sales.

That’s be­cause the law re­quires the sig­na­tures of 25 per­cent of those who voted in the last year’s elec­tion to put the mat­ter on the spring pri­mary bal­lot on May 16.

Given the high voter turnout in the last pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, the num­ber of sig­na­tures Moyer and his vol­un­teers must col­lect in this town of roughly 1,600 peo­ple is 871.

“Get­ting this mat­ter on the bal­lot is go­ing to be the hard­est part,” said Moyer, who has un­til the first week of March to get the re­quired sig­na­tures.

“Per­son­ally, I think peo­ple will vote for it over­whelm­ingly, but we need to get the mat­ter in front of the vot­ers first,” he said.

Some of The Mer­cury’s Face­book readers agree.

“If there is a busi­ness that is con­ducive to the sale of al­co­hol, why not?” asked An­drew Hans.

“Knock down that hideous mess on the cor­ner

“Get­ting this mat­ter on the bal­lot is go­ing to be the hard­est part.”

Michael Moyer, East Coven­try Su­per­vi­sor

of 724/Peter­man Road and put in a ‘Cheers’” wrote Jen­nifer O’Con­nor.

That is ex­actly what Moyer hopes will hap­pen he said.

“The old Pizza World site is per­fect for an Out­back or Olive Gar­den,” he said.

But not every one is con­vinced.

“No, keep it the way it is. Enough places around sell beer/liquor peo­ple can drive to get,” Sun­shine Moore posted.

“I lived in East Coven­try grow­ing up. I’d much rather the fields, space and quiet — over the op­po­site op­tion,” posted Erin Flanagan Galamba.

And some just find it puz­zling.

“I find this quite bizarre. Yes I am Bri­tish, but I live in Up­per Potts­grove,” posted Jane Evans.

“Why oh why is the sale of al­co­hol nor­mally, in su­per­mar­kets

such a big deal. I know that some­one is go­ing to blind me with ‘sci­ence’ now with fig­ures for al­co­hol re­lated crime, but I hon­estly don’t think it’s avail­abil­ity makes a dif­fer­ence,” Evans wrote.

Since Pro­hi­bi­tion was lifted in 1933, East Coven­try has been a dry town, vot­ing in the same year the amend­ment was over-turned to out­law liquor sales, and beer sales one year later, Moyer said.

In fact, Ch­ester County has 23 mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties that ban the sale of al­co­hol.

But Moyer thinks it’s time the cur­rent gen­er­a­tion of res­i­dents had an op­por­tu­nity to an­swer that ques­tion for them­selves.

“I will ac­cept what­ever the vot­ers want to do,” Moyer said, not­ing that both East Nant­meal and War­wick town­ships have held sim­i­lar votes.

His ar­gu­ment is that the in­abil­ity to sell liquor is im­ped­ing the com­mer­cial devel­op­ment of the Route 724 cor­ri­dor.

“Gen­er­ally speak­ing, when you have more com­mer­cial devel­op­ment, you don’t have to raise taxes so much over the years,” he said.

EVAN BRANDT — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

East Coven­try Su­per­vi­sor Michael Moyer be­lieves this site on Route 724, the for­mer Pizza World, could at­tract a restau­rant like Olive Gar­den if it were al­lowed to serve al­co­hol in the town­ship.

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