Friday, August 13, 2004
Should Carlisle be undry? Petition seeks to place question on November ballot
A group of Carlisle residents, including Ferns Country Store owner Larry Bearfield, is circulating a petition to make Carlisle undry. The petition separately asks two questions: shall licenses be granted for the sale of beer and wine, and shall licenses be granted for the sale of all alcoholic beverages? Ten percent of registered voters in Carlisle, about 300, must sign the petition to place the questions on the November 2 state ballot. The petition must be submitted by August 20.
If the petition succeeds and one or both of the questions pass in November, the Board of Selectmen will be able to issue a two-year license. In order to make Carlisle permanently undry, the same question(s) must be placed before voters and must pass at three consecutive state elections, including state elections in 2006 and 2008.
Question failed in 1996
A ballot question to make Carlisle undry failed in 1996. The question had three parts, each requiring a separate vote:
A. Shall licenses be granted for the sale of all alcoholic beverages?
B. Shall licenses be granted for the sale of wine and beer?
C. Shall licenses be granted for the sale of all alcoholic beverages in packages, not to be drunk on premises?
Questions A and C failed by large margins. The initial vote count on question B was recorded as YES 1267, NO 1265. On recount, the question failed, NO 1271, YES 1265.
More acceptance in 2004?
Bearfield believes that today there is "general acceptance" by residents for sale of beer and wine in Carlisle, and sees this as a long-term possibility for Ferns. "However," he admits, "it is not without its tremendous hurdles, such as Board of Health issues and many other regulations."
Carlisle residents who are registered voters can read and sign the petition at Ferns Country Store.
© 2004 The