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Cleveland may consider alcohol

Residents spoke out at recent listening sessions held by the City Council

POSTED: July 9, 2011 10:25 p.m.

The city of Cleveland has been dry for longer then most people can remember, but officials say that may change following listening sessions held earlier this month.

The City Council heard a resounding call in favor of allowing alcohol sales within the city limits from the residents who attended the sessions.

They also heard interest in improving the downtown area, such as installing more red lights and widening sidewalks and roads.

"The majority of the people that came to the meetings feel like the availability of beer and wine would give businesses a boost and enable the city to grow and thrive economically," councilman and longtime resident Rush Mauney said.

"I'm sure we will be looking at that. I'm not saying that's something that will be done in the next two weeks, but based on that input from the listening sessions, it's definitely something we will be considering."

Both Mauney and Mayor Don Stanley said residents have been strongly opposed to the idea of alcohol sales in the past, but it's an issue they're willing to re-examine.

Glenda Taylor, owner of the Cleveland restaurant Glenda's, said she is still "absolutely" opposed to alcohol sales.

"I'm a Christian and I don't believe in it," she said.

"I feel like my restaurant should stay a family restaurant, and I don't think that (alcohol) should be a part of it."

But Taylor may be in the minority.

"I firmly believe our citizens should dictate to us, especially something as important as beer and wine," Mauney said. "Based on the people that came out to the listening sessions, the majority of them are overwhelmingly in favor of the city issuing beer and wine licenses."

But Mauney also said the council will listen to more voices than just those who attended the sessions.

Questionnaires giving people the opportunity to express their opinions are available at city hall, located at 85 S. Main St. He said they will be accepting them through the end of July and the council will then discuss issues in August.

Stanley said this was the first time the council held listening sessions but they were a huge success.

"We were just trying to get individuals' input," he said. "We very much appreciated the fact that people were willing to come out and express their opinions and give their time to let us know what they think should be done. We thought it was a very successful venture in that we were able to get a lot of information and see what's on people's minds."

Most residents were interested in talking about ways to improve the downtown area, such as widening sidewalks and roads.

Stanley said these kinds of projects can be very expensive, but they're a possibility.

"We listened and we will take that information and then from it see what kind of decisions can be made to help implement some of these things," he said.



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