Council votes to amend liqour license ordinance

Published 9:49 pm Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The Selma City Council voted last week to amend a section of the city’s alcoholic beverages ordinance.

The amendment changes section 4-8 of the city’s code of ordinances, which makes it illegal to sell liquor or alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises within 200 feet of any church. It also makes it illegal within 200 feet of a school.

The amendment makes two exceptions to the ordinance.

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“Where the church or school was established after the licensed premises began operation and said operation has not been abandoned or discontinued for a period of six months,” is the first exception.

The other exception is “where the licensed premises and the church or school front on different streets and do not have common exits or driveways providing access.”

The amendment was discussed after an alcoholic beverage license was applied for at a lounge on L.L. Anderson Avenue. The establishment is called “TKS Lounge,” and the license was applied for by Rafael Jones. The lounge is located at 605 L.L. Anderson Ave., which is near Mt. Zion Primitive Baptist Church. The entrances of the church and the lounge are not on the same street.

The license was not approved. During the council’s Jan. 23 meeting, members voted 4-2-2. Four members voted to approve the license, two voted no and two abstained.

Selma City Attorney Jimmy Nunn said because a majority of the council members present did not vote to approve it, the motion did not pass. Council President Corey Bowie voted yes, along with council members Angela Benjamin, Sam Randolph and Jannie Thomas. Carl Bowline and Johnnie Leashore voted no, while Susan Youngblood and Michael Johnson abstained. Miah Jackson was not present at the meeting.

“In counting the votes, you have eight council members present. You have to have a majority of the council members present, not elected but present,” Nunn said during the meeting. “So, to get a majority, you need at least five members to vote yes. Four only voted yes, therefore it did not pass tonight.”

Councilwoman Angela Benjamin said not approving the license could set a precedent for future approvals of alcoholic beverage licenses.

“We do have some more license requests that are going to be coming behind this one, and we’re setting something,” she said during the meeting.

Benjamin asked Nunn if members could bring the license back up for another vote, but Nunn said he had to do research to determine which members could do so.