Different alcohol propositions received voter approval in Chandler, Malakoff and Trinidad.
City Administrator Jim Moffeit said Wednesday he was surprised by the “big” voter turnout in Chandler. There were 1,004 votes cast in Chandler’s alcohol election, which was “well over 50 percent of our eligible voters,” Moffeit said.
A proposition to legalize sale of beer and wine for off-premise consumption in Chandler passed with 586 votes, or 58.13 percent in favor and 422 votes, or 41.87 percent opposed, according to unofficial returns.
Another proposition on the Chandler ballot for sale of mixed beverage in restaurants received 613 votes, or 60.57 percent in support and 399 votes, or 39.43 percent against.
The number of votes approving both measures constituted “a solid margin,” said John Camper, speaking on behalf of Chandler Area Chamber of Commerce and the Buy Chandler First Committee.
“We’re very excited and very pleased. … We’re relieved because we knew it (alcohol proposals) would pass in Tyler, but we weren’t 100 percent sure it was going to pass in Chandler,” Camper said.
But an opponent of the Chandler propositions, Rick Gray, pastor of Faith Baptist Church, voiced disappointment Wednesday over the election outcome.
“I feel the facts of alcohol sales were spun or manipulated to justify their (supporters’) position of alcohol sales,” Gray said. “I believe a lot of people had the wool pulled over their eyes.”
Gray predicted that in six to 12 months, voter remorse will set in and people will wish they had not voted for it.
In Malakoff, the vote for a proposition for legal sale of all alcoholic beverages for off-premise consumption was 105, or 54.40 percent, to 88, or 45.60 percent, opposed.
In Trinidad, a proposition for the legal sale of beer and wine for off-premise consumption passed by almost two to one. Unofficial elections returns showed 203 votes, or 65.48 percent, for the proposition and 107 votes, or 34.52 percent, against.
City officials in Chandler were working Wednesday to clarify the procedure stores and restaurants will be required to follow in order to start alcohol sales.
Moffeit said it is his understanding they will have to obtain a packet from the Texas Alcohol and Tobacco Commission and bring the application to the city. The city will check to determine if they are in the right zone and not too close to churches, schools or other facilities and then if the city “signs off,” the application will go to Henderson County, the state comptroller’s office and back to the TABC, Moffeit said.
Stores could start alcohol sales around the first of January and restaurants may be able to start the end of January, the city administrator said. Alcohol, he added, “will be in the stores quicker than it will be in the restaurants.”
But stores such as Brookshires that already are licensed by the state to sell alcohol in some other locations may not have to wait 60 days to sell beer and wine in Chandler, Camper said.
With the passing of the alcohol propositions on the Chandler ballot, Camper said, “We’re very fortunate that our businesses locally will have the opportunity to increase sales revenue with the sale of beer and wine in convenience stores and in restaurants. At the same time, we are more relieved that we won’t be losing that business to Tyler and sales tax revenue as well.”
Camper said the Chandler chamber and Buy Chandler First Committee will keep a close eye on how alcohol sales fare because of specific concerns voiced by the opposition.
“The chamber will monitor (the situation) and keep in constant contact with our police department to make sure that what we said (is true) that alcohol sales do not increase crime or litter or it doesn’t junk up our town,” Camper said.
Voters defeated an unrelated $5.99 million bond proposal for Cross Roads ISD. The funds would have been earmarked for construction of a multipurpose building for agriculture classes and shops, science classrooms and parking.
The vote was 503 votes, or 55.21 percent, against the bond issue and 408 votes, or 44.79 percent, in favor.
In Brownsboro ISD, voters elected three members of the board of trustees. Scott Williams was re-elected with 2,427 votes, or 36.53 percent. Also elected were newcomers Michele Rinehart, with 1,617 votes, or 24.33 percent, and Steve Sanders, with 1,455 votes, or 21.90 percent. Tammy Osborn Anderson was defeated with 1,145 votes, or 17.23 percent.
Cross Roads ISD voters elected four board members, who are: William “Russell” Giles Jr. with 383 votes, or 17.08 percent of the total votes cast; Shelly Robertson with 382 votes, or 17.03 percent; Scott McCurley with 332 votes, or 14.80 percent; and Darren Himes with 295 votes, or 13.15 percent.
Defeated in their bid for the Cross Roads ISD board were: Randy Norwood with 264 votes, or 11.77 percent; Pam Underhill Cole with 257 votes, or 11.46 percent; Gayle Harmon with 176 votes, or 7.85 percent; and John Weaver with 154 votes, or 6.87 percent.
Voters in the town of Tool picked three city council members: A.J. “Red” Phillips with 263 votes, or 28.46 percent; Frances E. Sonka with 221 votes, or 23.92 percent; and Rickey E. Williams with 169 votes, or 18.29 percent.
Defeated were Cindy A. Clounch with 150 votes, or 16.23 percent and Tamra J. Brickey with 121 votes, or 13.10 percent.