The city of Trenton passed an ordinance allowing beer and wine in restaurants in November 2010, and in fact now has two restaurants that serve malt beverages. Dade County voters in November 2016 approved the broader category of liquor by the drink by referendum. Now must Trenton hold a referendum of its own to allow hard liquor within the city limits?
That was a question that arose but remained unanswered at Monday night's regular February meeting of the Trenton City Commission.
Mayor Alex Case had earlier told The Dade Planet that considering the county encompassed the city, and that each precinct in the county had voted in favor of allowing liquor, most likely the city would choose to alter its regulations to match whatever the county put in place, and most likely the city commission would be able to do that by ordinance.
And that's what Fire and Utility Commissioner Jerry Henegar said Monday night he had confirmed in researching the Georgia Municiapal Association rules. The only catch, he said, was that a majory of voters within the city must have voted yes to the referendum.
But Mayor Case said at the Feb. 13 meeting that the city attorney had given him to understand otherwise, that Trenton must put the matter before the voters in a city referendum. "I don't know where to go now," said Case. "I say we just give it back to Ron and discuss it next month."
Trenton's legal business is handled by Ron Womack, a LaFayette attorney who does not return The Planet's phone calls; but local elections are administered by Dade Election Supervisor Lowanna Vaughn, who does. The Planet asked Ms. Vaughn if it were possible to isolate which voters in the November referendum were Trenton city voters.
"I don't even know that I can do it," she said.
She promised to pursue inquiries and have an answer by later in the week.
But as for whether that answer will figure at all in the ultimate answer to the second referendum question, and as to any pronouncement by the out-of-town city attorney, The Planet will duly report such information as it becomes available.