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City of Dora votes to go wet; area pastors concernedcomment (0)

June 16, 2011

By Courtney Searcy

The historically dry city of Dora has voted to go wet and allow alcohol sales following a June 7 special referendum.

More than 600 of the city’s 3,000 residents turned out to the polls, with 323 (56 percent) voters in favor of the referendum, while 254 (44 percent) voted against it. At press time, there were still provisional ballots out. The official vote count was to be finalized by June 13.

Mayor Chris Edwards told the Daily Mountain Eagle the voter turnout showed the people of Dora wanted their voice to be heard. The change could bring  “positive economic developments” such as new businesses and jobs, he told the Eagle.

However, area pastors opposed to the referendum are concerned about the negative effect it could have on the community.

“It’s going to cost Dora financially as well as in other ways … I fear that it will make alcohol more readily available to people, possibly including underage drinkers,” said Lee Taylor, pastor of First Baptist Church, Dora.

Taylor is a part of the Dora Ministerial Alliance, a group formed after a petition to hold the vote began within the city.

The group, made up of about eight pastors, met regularly to pray for the city and its government leaders, as well as to try to stop the petition.

When the petition received enough signatures to hold the vote, they used church marquees and purchased signs to inform the community about the vote, encouraging them to cast a “no” ballot.

Taylor said that although the vote did not turn out in their favor, they will continue to support their community and its officials.

“We’re not going to pull away and disown our city just because we stand on a different side with a different view,” Taylor said.

Taylor called the mayor the morning after the results were announced.

“I told him, ‘I do not like the way that this vote turned out,’ but if he or the city needs anything from me or the church, we would be there for him or the city to meet any need we are able to meet,” Taylor said.

The vote can be appealed, but Taylor said the group has no plans for challenging it.

“We have not lost the war, but we have lost this particular battle,” he said.

“There is a time and season for everything. Christians must learn a time to lose with grace. We fought a good fight and I think we fought it in an honorable way.”

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