Early voting started today for the special election to determine if Liquor-by-the-Drink can be sold in Fannin County restaurants. Advanced voting will continue until Friday November the 2nd. According to The News Observer in Friday’s October 26th paper, there has been an increase of over 2000 voters bringing the total number of registered voters to 15,327. I wonder if those new voters are locals or part-timers? I think we all know the answer to that question!
Is Liquor-by-the-Drink the Future of Fannin County? Did Fannin County actually loose 30 Million Dollars to restaurants just down the road in Ellijay within Gilmer County? Did it result in a loss of $875,000 tax dollars for Fannin County?
Well first off, I would certainly hope that my future in this county isn’t dependant upon whether or not folks can have a drink within the restaurants in Blue Ridge. I do feel that the “Yes” gang at Fannin’s Future have a valid point, that it would bring in more revenue for the county. However, I believe we have made it pretty dawg gone good thus far. By the way, who in blue blazes sat for an entire year down there in Ellijay in all of those restaurants asking every person that came through the door if they chose to eat there instead of Blue Ridge? I just wonder if any of those folks decided to come from Jasper down in Pickens County, or from all the folks coming to the North Georgia Mountains from Atlanta and all parts of Florida. I have taken the time to go down to Longhorn’s Steakhouse to enjoy one of those incredible Flo’s Fillets, but getting a drink isn’t why I went there. Maybe there are folks that like to go down there for a change, you know Ruby Tuesday’s has a great salad, and Captain D’s has always been one of my favorites!
On the other hand, will Liquor-by-the-Drink really increase the danger on our roads? If my calculations are correct from the campaign, isn’t nearly all of the county already driving down the road to Ellijay to have a glass of wine with their steak? Doesn’t that mean that our roads are already in grave danger? And what about the half-a-dozen drive thru beer stores in town.
“Can it be any worse than to already be driving while you are purchasing your alcoholic beverages?”
I refused for so long to address this issue. However, I am so sick and tired of all the talk about it, I thought if I posted an article I could move on past it. I may be speaking for myself here, but I can’t wait until November the 7th. I am not too sure I really care about the outcome of the election. Fortunately for me, I live in Blairsville which is in Union County, on the opposite side of Fannin from Gilmer. If I had to take a stand, I would lean towards the “No” guys. Not necessarily because of the drinking, or the increase in danger on our roads, even though those are serious concerns. It’s all about what Blue Ridge means to me. In the past 15-20 years, the area of Blue Ridge has been thriving. Cabin and home building along with real estate has been booming, until recent months. Recently our entire nation has suffered for the most part with the current housing crunch, and I am pretty sure it wasn’t over alcohol.
Our little town has had a face-lift with the help of the Blue Ridge Business Association and the hard work of the Fannin County Chamber of Commerce and as a result we have become quiet the tourist destination. With the addition of The Blue Ridge Scenic Railway, and events like Arts in the Park, The Aska Adventure Race, and the upcoming Halloween Safe Zone and Light Up Blue Ridge we have rightfully become one of the top destination hot spots in the country. Will we loose that small home town charm if we are invaded by every restaurant chain known to man over the next several years? Isn’t that the very reason folks are coming to the mountains anyway…to get away from all of that? To be able to come up here and enjoy the wildlife (no punt intended) and the peace and quiet.
Are you ready for this election to be over? Do you believe that Fannin County’s future rests upon the outcome of this election? Will it make our roads more dangerous than they already are? Be sure to exercise your right to vote by November the 6th.