After months of keeping it under the table, Dade County commissioners have liquor by the drink on the menu for their regular March meeting Thursday night.
Or on the agenda, in any case.
Items on the lineup for the Thursday night meeting include not only a "proposed amendment to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Ordinance" but also an appearance by "Concerned Dade citizens who voted yes to distilled spirits."
The former item is oblique in that it refers to an "amendment" to an ordinance. After the November referendum in which Dade voted 60-40 in favor of liquor by the drink, the commissioners have repeatedly referred to an ordinance they were working on to regulate alcohol sales, but so far none has materialized. Dade County Executive Chairman Ted "The Boss" Rumley has hinted broadly that one will be revealed at the March meeting.
The latter item would seem to indicate a citizens group. At the January and February commission meetings, citizens have stood up individually to urge the commissioners to act on LBD. Presumably in March there will be a plurality.
At issue is not only the commission's perceived foot-dragging on drafting rules for issuing liquor licenses but the commissioners' repeated references to their 2015 resolution that led to the referendum. That resolution would limit alcohol sales to areas near the interstate served by sewers. Since the Dade ordinance will not affect Trenton, which already permits wine and beer sales in restaurants, and since most of Dade does not have sewers, the commissioners' resolution would effectively forbid adult beverages to be served anywhere but at the Wildwood exit of I-24.
Members of the public are welcome at Dade County Commission meetings. Citizens are allowed and encouraged to stand up and tell their elected commissioners what they think about local issues.
The meeting begins at 6 p.m. Thursday in the Dade Administrative Building, next to the Justice Building on the central Trenton square.