Letter: Don’t sacrifice tax dollars that can help city’s schools
I am writing with the intention of presenting the “service industry” viewpoint to liquor by the drink in Pigeon Forge. The overall goal is not for Pigeon Forge to become a drinking destination, but for our citizens, guests, and responsible adults to be able to enjoy a drink with their meal if they so choose while keeping tax and revenue dollars within our city limits.
In Tennessee, any person who serves alcohol must be licensed by the TABC, whose certification is valid for 5 years and must be accompanied by a server permit. The TABC has guidelines as to who can and cannot be certified. If you have been convicted of a felony in within the previous 4 years, have been convicted of any crime related to alcohol, controlled substances and several other crimes you will not be permitted a certification. Classes include, but are not limited to, the effects of alcohol, state and federal laws, and what signs to look for in someone who may be nearing their limit.
I am a server and a bartender in Pigeon Forge. I know more about this issue than most, not because I am a drinker, but because I am trained and certified by the TABC. I have lived my life as a Christian and I respect the rights of other adult citizens to make their own decisions about partaking of alcohol based on their own views, moral or political.
As a server and bartender I encounter a diverse segment of the population. Every table gets two very important things when they encounter me as their server for the evening. The first is a smile and a great attitude, the second is a request for identification to verify their age if they have requested alcohol. Upon service of alcohol, the guest is henceforth constantly monitored. The staff is in constant communication, water is provided with alcohol to curb any effect, and no customer is ever over-served.
In summation, we are giving our business to our neighbors when we deny adult citizens the same rights that were afforded to our country by the federal government by the repeal of Prohibition with the passage of the 21st Amendment to the United States Constitution on Dec. 5, 1933. We are sacrificing necessary tax dollars which will go to our schools by law.
I fear that some businesses might possibly relocate or focus their attention on more profitable locations in other cities, and this affects my personal income. The fewer tax dollars spent, not only on liquor but food, shopping, etc., means less money to provide critical city services which our destination town so desperately needs.
Please stand with me and stand for the freedom to make an informed decision as opposed to allowing continued “control by some” on our personal lives. Cast your vote to keep liquor by the drink on March 14.
EDITOR’S NOTE: All letters pertaining to the Pigeon Forge liquor referendum must be received by The Mountain Press no later than 5 p.m. Thursday, March 7. None will be published after March 12.