Three of four alcohol measures pass

Nov. 06, 2013 @ 05:02 AM

Residents who were children the last time voters in Broadway considered letting restaurants sell alcohol are now just old enough to order beer, wine or liquor here. Now, they won’t have to leave down to get a drink with dinner.

But they’ll still have to leave town to shop at a liquor store.

Nearly 20 years after voting down similar proposals, Broadway citizens on Tuesday approved three alcohol-related referendum items for restaurants and voted down one item that would’ve allowed a liquor store within town limits. It failed with 49 percent of the vote, with 93 votes in favor but 98 votes against. The three that passed were:

* To allow restaurants to sell beer, which passed with 57 percent of the vote, 108-82.

* To allow restaurants to sell unfortified wine, which passed with 57 percent of the vote, 109-81.

* To allow restaurants to sell liquor, which passed with 56 percent of the vote, 107-85.

“I think that levels the playing field for the local restaurant [The Feed Meal, the only restaurant in town that might sell drinks] and ... maybe helps them draw business and be successful,” Broadway Mayor Donald Andrews said.

None of the restaurant’s representatives could be reached Tuesday night, and the restaurant was closed by the time the results were released. As for the failed liquor store referendum, Andrews said town officials decided to put it on the ballot mainly just because it was related in theme with the other items, but that there had been no plans for one.

There were also four seats on the Broadway Town Board of Commissioners up for grabs — three four-year terms and one two-year term to fill the seat of the late Clem Welch. Incumbents Jim Davis and Thomas Beal, plus newcomer Janet Harrington, won the three full terms after running unopposed. Incumbent Woody Beale chose to not seek re-election to a four-year term and instead campaigned for the shortened two-year term. He also was unopposed and won.

Andrews said that on first glance, total voter turnout of about 200 people in the town with 857 registered voters seemed good, considering the cold weather on Election Day and the fact that none of the town board races were contested. He said that on the whole, he was fairly pleased with the results.

“It looks like the restaurant will benefit from the changes,” Andrews said. “As far as the board members, [the three incumbents] were already on the board, so I know them, and I think Janet will be an asset. ... She’s been coming to the meetings and is aware of the issues and challenges facing the town.”