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Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Viva SnellVegas

If you have been keeping up with the Special Events Ordinance that's up for council vote on February 14th, you know that the ordinance is tightly regulated. [See earlier article about the Special Events Ordinance] Even so, there are different points-of-view regarding allowing alcohol to be served at certain city events.

One positive point of view is that it will bring a much needed shot in the arm to our local economy. Several residents have told me that they love the idea, appreciating that the City of Snellville will consider them as grown ups, able to make their own decisions. As people come to Snellville to attend fun events, perhaps they'll think about Snellville as a great place to live. But some people, including at least one member of the Snellville City Council, hangs tight to the notion that if people have alcohol, Snellville will turn into Las Vegas and it will hurt the city's image.
But Council member Michael Sabbagh is concerned about what the sales would mean for public safety and the city's image.
"Going down this path it will get out of hand, there is no thinking about it, eventually you might as well call us Las Vegas."

WABE (Listen to recording)

I don't think it will hurt Snellville's image at all, but I don't need the Southern Baptist vote.  I think having an ordinance like this could help city events, although I do think the vendor fee of $2,000 per event is a bit high.  Grayson  had a very successful Blues & Brews Festival in September. The event featured 150 varieties of beer along with live musical entertainment at Grayson City Park. A secured beer-park area was constructed and extra security was provided. Michelle Couch, a board member of the Grayson Downtown Development Authority and publisher of TheTriCityTimesOnline said, "We had a very successful event. It was a mature crowd, and there where no reported incidents of problems." Couch said the event attracted tourists from Athens and Dacula.

Sabbagh's words evoked many humorous comments. Musician Grant Mackay quipped, "Where will Wayne Newton stay, and will we have drive-thru weddings at Snellville First Baptist Church?" To which Dave Emanuel of Snellville replied, "Go ahead and make fun all you want, but there is a serious question that has not been addressed --Where are we going to park the tour buses?" 

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