By Hank Wiesner/Southern Sentinel
RIPLEY – A volunteer group is seeking signatures to a petition which would require the City of Ripley to hold an election as to whether beer and light wine could legally be sold in city limits.
Josh Behm, the spokesman for Ripley For A Vote, said the volunteer group is working to give the citizens of Ripley the opportunity to vote on the issue of alcohol within Ripley city limits.
“With communities all around us such as New Albany, Corinth and Ashland voting on this issue, we feel the citizens of Ripley should have the opportunity to voice their opinion on this issue as well and have begun our efforts to make this possible. We are neither for nor against alcohol. Our primary goal is to give every registered voter within Ripley city limits the opportunity to decide for themselves,” he said this week.
The group is petitioning Ripley’s mayor and board of aldermen “to hold an election to determine whether to permit the sale and the receipt, storage, and transportation for the purpose of sale of light wine of an alcoholic content of not more than 5 percent by weight and beer of an alcoholic content of not more than 8 percent by weight within the municipal city limits of the city of Ripley, Mississippi,” according to a copy of the petition.
Ripley Mayor Chris Marsalis said Monday that the State Legislature approved local option legislation earlier this year allowing cities of 5,000 or above, or designated county seat municipalities, to vote on the sale of beer or wine in the municipalities.
The local option petition requires valid signatures from 20 percent of the city’s 3,550 registered voters, which would be 710 voters, according to Circuit Clerk Randy Graves. The signatures must also be certified by Graves.
Said Mayor Marsalis: “After being notified by the circuit clerk that the required number of signatures are properly certified, at their next meeting the Board of Aldermen would then call for a special election on the matter.
“A simple majority would be required for passage,” the mayor said.
More information about the group can be found on its Facebook page (facebook.com/RipleyForAVote) and its website (www.ripleyforavote.com). Copies of the petition can be downloaded from the website.