Hudson gives cold shoulder to alcohol proposal

'You've got to be kidding me'
Jul. 16, 2014 @ 06:59 AM

A proposal to ask Hudson voters in November to approve alcohol sales died a quick death Tuesday night.

Town Manager Rebecca Bentley proposed the referendum, telling the town board of commissioners several ways the town would benefit, including more sales tax revenue, the ability to host more events at the Hudson Uptown Building and the ability to attract new restaurants and businesses.

“It’s purely an economic opportunity,” Bentley said.

Bentley added that she had researched the number of DUIs in Hudson compared to towns that allowed the sale of alcohol, and she said the numbers were not that different.

“And most of those people (arrested here) don’t live in Hudson,” Bentley said. “They’re just driving through.”

Commissioner Tony Colvard formally moved to approve setting a referendum for Nov. 4. He did not understand why his motion was met with silence. He shook his head.

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Colvard said quietly.

Colvard told the other commissioners he found their “passing up this opportunity” to be “distressing.” Even though they have continually discussed lowering taxes and bringing in new businesses, when presented with an opportunity that could do that, they ignored it. Colvard did not participate in the rest of the meeting, and when Mayor Janet Winkler reached the part of the agenda that called for a closed session, he walked out.

This was the second time this year a Caldwell County town board dropped the idea of an alcohol referendum. In February, the Sawmills Town Council decided against it because council members believed it stood very little chance of approval by voters.