Jordan Leman is a student at VSU who had just spoken to the
Valdosta City Council in Citizens to be Heard, at the same
regular session yesterday where they approved putting referendum
about Sunday alcohol sales on November’s ballot.
“…try to get as many college students and as many non-college students
here in Valdosta and Lowndes County
to go out and vote for it or to go register to vote.
Get the word out to go vote on Sunday sales.”
Valdosta City Council just passed motion for alcohol referendum —Jordan Leman
Regular Session, Valdosta City Council (LCC),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 21 July 2011.
Videos by John S. Quarterman for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.
Buying alcohol on Sundays just got one step closer to reality Thursday evening, with the Valdosta City Council’s passage of an ordinance to authorize a referendum for the Nov. 8 General Election.
The referendum will allow voters in the city of Valdosta to decide whether package sales of malt beverages, wine and distilled spirits should be allowed by retailers on Sundays between 12:30 and 11:30 p.m. Currently, citizens can purchase alcoholic beverages on Sundays at local restaurants. This measure, approved by the state of Georgia’s legislature this year, will allow package and grocery stores, and other retailers, to sell alcoholic beverages on Sundays.
The measure passed 5 to 1, with Councilman Robert Yost opposing. Councilman Deidre White was not in attendance.
The case originally surfaced after 15 Valdosta citizens were arrested
and charged with violating statute 16-11-34 (a), which provides “a
person who recklessly or knowingly commits any act which may reasonably be
expected to prevent or disrupt a lawful meeting, gathering or procession
is guilty of a misdemeanor.” Charges came after the group allegedly
disrupted a Valdosta city council meeting in May 2005. Calle Fielden
and Leigh Touchton, two of those arrested, appealed to the courts on
the grounds that the statute under which the citizens were charged was
unconstitutionally vague and broad.
On April 21, 2005, Rev. Floyd Rose addressed the council
Someone posting as
Mayor John Fretti of Valdosta responded in a comment to
Mayor Fretti, please point us to where on the web is the
video you mention. -jsq
Update 12:13 AM 23 April 2011: Mayor Fretti confirms (through three different channels) that this post was by him:
THat was my post. an attempt to reach out and help explain a few things. the video, as was al evidence in the case was exchanged durig the discovery part of the motion. the video should be with that.
I have asked him whether an open records request would produce the video.
Back to the original post. -jsq
With all due respect to Leigh’s version of the arrest – and it is all
on video, it happened in the end by way of self – executing mode. After
repeated requests for the group to relinquish the podium and rose stating
each time that they will not and we “must do what we have to do”. the
Mayor asked if there was any objection from Council or city manager or
attorney if WE allow Chief Frank Simons to approach the crowd and do
what he sees necessary to allow the meeting to continue efficiently and
effectively. There was some discussion and then John Fason (Cmdr.) asked
if anyone wants to go to jail – to follow him. and they all did – no
cuffs, no restraints. Peacefully. That’s it. and all on video for all
to see. With respect to the charges filed, they were old STATE charges and
were ruled out as overbroad and (something else). That was fine. There was
an appeal by the solicitor General and again the old STATE laws were ruled
overbroad and (something else). as they should have been. We have our own
local laws and ordinances now that have been tested strong in court.