New restaurants not the biggest issue
Published 12:00 am Monday, September 18, 2006
To the Editor:
I read with great interest the letter of Thursday, Sept. 7, about the city welcoming a new restaurant.
It was an interesting viewpoint and I agree with much of what was said.
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However, it is looking at what I see as a limited view of the issue.
I am all for having new jobs and businesses in Selma.
My family has not lived here very long, but have made this our home.
The choice of new restaurants is a benefit to our city.
But that is not the basic issue in this matter.
The bottom line issue is a standing ordinance of the city to regulate such liquor licenses.
The ordinance has been used in other situations for restaurants or bars in our town.
I do not know the person wanting to open the restaurant, but it would seem logical to me that this issue would have been dealt with before even looking to open a new restaurant in that building, learning if any ordinance would hinder getting the license.
That should settle the issue instead of the city looking at the possibility of changing an ordinance in this case.
This is not the only place to open a business, nor is it based on personality or individual qualities of the person. I’m sure they are a hard-working, fine individual, but the ordinance is meant to protect the churches and schools in our city, which also contribute to the growth and quality of life in a city.
When people decide to move to a city, these are often the institutions they look to first, not the number of restaurants that serve drinks.
To say that serving alcohol in a city does not degrade or devalue the city is a matter of opinion.
Since we moved here, I have noticed a lot of news reports of violence and criminal activity, much of it connected with alcohol.
I don’t see this as a value we need more of.
I am not starting a petition to keep the ordinance intact, but would hope that the rights of the people this will affect will be viewed just as much as the right to open a restaurant with alcohol.
As far as business growth, I don’t believe a local restaurant will employ enough people to make a big dent in unemployment nor with a significant amount of tax revenue to the city.
It was implied that those who disagree with this ordinance being overturned or changed do not want new businesses in town.
I, for one, do, while at the same time looking out for the overall good of our city, not just downtown and not just being able to eat out.