City Council Hears Community Voices on Alcohol Debate

March 15, 2004 -- Posted at 9:12 p.m. CST

JONESBORO -- Alcohol wasn't on the agenda for Monday night's city council meeting, but Jonesboro aldermen were forced to discuss it. T

he debate over creating a new private club in downtown Jonesboro is hot and heavy.

The meeting was an ordinary one, with the council discussing zoning and drainage work, but when it came time for public comment, that's when it got interesting.

It was a full house at the Jonesboro city council meeting...folks were on hand voicing their opinions about a request for a liquor license by Piero's Main Street Bistro in downtown Jonesboro.

"As elected officials we feel that there needs to be an expression were as elected officials you stand and I'm coming tonight to ask you to express yourselves to the ABC board," said Dr. James Davis who opposes the liquor license.

While members of the community expressed their feelings, the city council made it clear that this was not the forum for these issues.

"In my opinion, it's not the place of this council to make a decision or show in these chambers how they feel about this issue," stated one council member.

But it was only the council members who didn't express their views.

"If we are going to bring in big business, if we're going to bring in people that corporations want to open up offices here and revitalize our downtown, we got to do something to bring them into entice them here and that is some form of alcohol sales," said Steven Pierce who supports the idea of a liquor permit for Piero's.

"These pro alcoholic people bring up, well, we need this for economic development. I challenge anybody to show me one iota of evidence that alcohol is good for economic's not there," said Bob Hester who opposes liquor license.

K-8 news will have a crew in Little Rock on Wednesday when the Arkansas Alcohol Beverage Control board is scheduled to hold a hearing on the request for a private club liquor permit by Piero's Main Street Bistro.