Letter to the editor: Fiscal court’s decision may have far-reaching impact

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The Owen County Fiscal Court will soon decide whether or not to adopt an ordinance permitting Elk Creek Winery to sell alcohol on Sundays.
It is my understanding that this decision is the responsibility of the four Owen County magistrates with a vote cast by the judge-executive in case of a tie.
Magistrates are elected representatives and their actions are to reflect those of the voters in their districts. I commend magistrate Teresa Davis for requiring over half of the registered voters in her district to affirm their support of this ordinance before petitioning the court. Ms. Davis represented her constituents and their wishes.
However, there are three other magistrates who will vote on this matter. Given the fact that Owen countians have voted the county dry should make it perfectly clear to these magistrates that the registered voters in their districts expect them to vote no on this ordinance. They are elected representatives of the people, and as such, the people in their districts expect them to act honestly. Whether they, themselves, agree or disagree with the ordinance is irrelevant. They are to uphold the wishes of the majority of their constituents.
In a News-Herald article, dated July 23, Mr. Sigretto declared that if the ordinance were adopted Elk Creek Winery “would likely see a 30 percent increase during the first year.” That is quite lofty expectations. For example if the winery sees an annual revenue of $1 million, that would mean that Eagle Creek Winery would see a yearly increase of $300,000 just by opening its doors just six hours on Sundays. Each Sunday would reap over $5,700 for six hours of business.
Mr. Sigretto also claimed a probable 40 percent lodging increase if the ordinance were passed. According to their website, Elk Creek Winery already offers lodging on Sundays. Most people work on Monday so this 40 percent increase would have to come from those on vacation or retirees. Some might conclude that Mr. Sigretto is a bit overly optimistic.
The decision made by the Owen County Fiscal Court on Aug. 12 will have a far-reaching impact on the future of Owen County. It will not only determine Sunday sales for Elk Creek Winery, but just as significantly the decision will reveal the character of our elected officials and whether or not they will honorably serve the will of the people they represent.

Tom Strassell
Poplar Grove