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Snellville residents will have to wait on Sunday alcohol sales

SNELLVILLE - Voters will have to wait until possibly next March to be heard on whether they want to allow Sunday sales of alcohol in Snellville. Some people, including Mayor Jerry Oberholtzer and City Attorney Mike Williams, thought that a referendum would be held Nov. 3. City councilwoman Kelly Kautz, however, had other ideas.

The Sunday sales of alcohol issue was listed on Monday night's city council meeting agenda. A public hearing was scheduled, and a good-sized crowd turned out to have their say. But before the proceedings could really get off the ground, Kautz hit the brakes.

When it was her turn to discuss the motion to consider a possible Sunday sales ordinance, Kautz remarked that she found it ironic that council members Barbara Bender and Tod Warner were supporting a November referendum, since in the past they and Oberholtzer have tried to push through an ordinance without a vote.

Kautz went on to add that, even if council members voted to OK an ordinance that could be considered by voters in November, city leaders couldn't legally go that route. Citing state law, Kautz stated that council members would have to wait 10 days from Monday to issue a call for election, and an election could be held no sooner than 30 days after the call was issued. Under those terms, a Nov. 3 election would be too soon.

When Kautz challenged Williams with her determination, Williams agreed that he had miscalculated the process by three days. Upon Wiliams making that statement, Warner withdrew his motion to consider a Sunday sales ordinance.

Kautz remarked that she wants Snellville residents to understand that city leaders are "serious about this" and therefore asked to be sure the issue is included on the first 2010 city council meeting in January.