CAIRO — Several Cairo City Council members appear open to allowing voters to decide if local restaurants should be able to sell alcoholic beverages on Sundays.
Council member Jerry Cox said at Monday's city council meeting that he has been approached by multiple restaurant owners asking what needed to be done to lift a ban on Sunday sales of alcohol.
With an upcoming city election approaching in November, Cox wanted to know if there was still time to include the question on the ballot.
City clerk Carolyn Lee said there's still time for the item to be included, though she was unsure of the exact deadlines which need to be met.
November provides an ideal time for presenting the issue to voters because the city is already slated to hold an election.
"If you don't put it on the November ballot, then you're going to wait two more years because it's too expensive to have a special election," said Council member Jimmy Douglas.
Douglas asked Lee to research the deadlines needed to be reached in order to place the question on the November ballot and to provide the information to the council members.
There are multiples ways in which the question could appear on the ballot, with the simplest being a resolution introduced by the mayor and council agreeing that the item should be included.
"And before you do that I think you'd want to know if there's enough interest so that you're not just out there in the cold," city attorney Thomas Lehman told the council members.
If the council were to decide not to follow that path, Lehman said another method of including the question would involve citizens filing a petition with the city.
Several restaurant owners have = submitted a request to the city asking that the question be included on the ballot.
Lee did not believe it was likely that such measures would need to be taken, saying she anticipates the council will introduce a resolution.
"It sounds that way to me, but I can't say what they'll do," she said.