November 11, 2006
ALCOHOL SALES IN JASPER COUNTY STOPPED
TWG has been provided with information that Lakeview
Restaurant has been selling alcohol at their “full bar”
all Summer long. An advertisement by Lakeview
Restaurant in the Monticello News on 10/19/06 boasted, “We
now have a FULL BAR.”
An alert citizen
contacted TWG and asked, “Since when does Jasper County
allow a full bar? There are no “drinks” allowed to be sold
in Jasper County except in private clubs.”
contacted the Sheriff’s Department with no response; went
to the BOC office with no results; and finally contacted
the Dep’t of Revenue who oversees all alcohol sales. Meanwhile
TWG contacted some patrons of Lakeview Restaurant to confirm
alcohol sales “by the drink.”
TWG has found
that Lakeview Restaurant has been selling alcohol all Summer
long. However, we have also found that Lakeview
Restaurant was issued a Beer and Wine Pouring license by
our County Manager. A copy of the “license”
is required to be displayed in a “conspicuous place”. This
license is typed on BOC letterhead and signed by Greg Williams.
can the County Manager issue a pouring license without any
public hearings? How can a pouring license be issued without
the approval of the Commissioners? Who is responsible for
this act of gross negligence? We say the County
Commissioners are responsible. They have continued to shirk
their duties by allowing the County Manager to do many things
that should be a matter of discussion, voting, and public
record at regular BOC meetings. The County has Ordinances
that regulate Alcoholic Beverages. The County Manager and
our Commissioners need some instruction on how to research
and read our County Ordinances.
The owners of
“Frank’s Restaurant” came before the BOC and requested a
pouring license for Beer and Wine. There were two readings
at two separate Commissioners meetings. The public was aware
and had an opportunity to agree or disagree with the pouring
license requested. The license was granted, but only for
Beer and Wine. Jasper County only allows “mixed drinks”
in private clubs—not restaurants.
the list of licenses TWG obtained through Open Records in
April, it has become clear that the BOC no longer
holds public hearings on approving Beer and Wine licenses.
Whenever anyone applies to sell Beer and Wine,
they must submit an application. If the BOC isn’t
approving, who is? The public should always have
the right to be informed who has applied and where they
might be selling alcohol. We also wonder if there are applications
being submitted by new owners when stores change hands.
the Jones’s owned The Country Store on Highway 11 North,
then it became Patrick’s, owned by Patrick Holden, now it’s
called Chloe’s and owned by Eric Wood. Neither Mr. Holden
nor Mr. Wood ever came before the BOC to be approved.
The last time
TWG remembers a public hearing was during the last term
of Commissioners when a store in Farrar wanted to sell Beer
and Wine. We question again when was it decided that no
public hearings would be held? The public has the right
to know. Also, does the BOC even know who is applying?
County Ordinances “Alcoholic Beverages”
6-1—Provisions saved from repeal
3. The ordinance
adopted June 4, 1979, authorizing alcoholic beverage sales
in private clubs. (This includes “mixed drinks” and establishes
the number of members a private club must have.)
6-4—Retail sales of Wine and Malt Beverages for Consumption
on the Premises—
Allowed with proper license subject to requirements listed
6-11—Procedure for Applicants
6-12—Requisites for Issuance
Briefly and concisely the rules are:
must have seating capacity of 75 people or more
2. 60% of the revenue of the establishment must be from
3. Consumption of beverages must be in dining area on
5. No beverages served without an order for food
6. No beverages shall be sold for consumption on the premises
without a license granted by the County.
6-16—Punishment of Violation of Article
“Reserved” (The County has never established the punishment!)
Lakeview Restaurant “licensee” appears to have expanded
his Beer and Wine Pouring license to include mixed drinks.
Where has our law enforcement been for the last 6 months?
The County Manager has made another gaffe by issuing
a pouring license without any public hearings or authorization.
The Commissioners are also to blame by not overseeing the
County Manager and knowing what is being done. T.W.G. is
interested in seeing the original application.
have told TWG that the Dep’t of Revenue and the Sheriff’s
Dep’t have now gotten involved and the sales of alcohol
will cease at Lakeview Restaurant.
** To keep the taxpayers of Jasper County, Georgia informed
as to where and how their tax dollars are being spent.
** To keep the taxpayers abreast of local policies and
laws being discussed and enacted.
** We advocate more open government, less government spending,
and lower property taxes.