The petition drive to bring beer and wine sales to Tyler began today downtown at T.B. Butler Fountain Plaza.
The political action committee “Buy Local First!” began gathering signatures to bring four local option beverage proposals to Smith County voters in November.
In Tyler, petitions to bring the sale of beer and wine for off-premise consumption and expansion of mixed beverage sales by restaurants, which passed in 2008, will circulate. In Justice of the Peace Precinct 2, which includes southern Tyler, Flint and Bullard, the group will also seek the legal sale of beer and wine for off premise consumption and mixed beverage sales for restaurants.
The group has 60 days to gather 7,800 registered Tyler voter signatures and 6,700 registered Justice of the Peace Precinct 2 voter signatures. The county will then have 30 days to confirm the signatures and deny or call the election for November.
Petition gatherers will be asking for signatures outside 10 local businesses. The locations include Cici’s Pizza, 211 N. Northwest Loop 323 and 1938 E. Southeast Loop 323; Stanley’s BBQ, 525 S. Beckham Ave.; Walgreens, 5415 S. Broadway Ave., 2120 E. Southeast Loop 323; 110 S. Southwest Loop 323 and 1620 S. Broadway Ave. and Wal-Mart, 5050 Troup Highway, 6801 S. Broadway Ave. and 3820 Texas Highway 64 in Tyler.
Committee chairman Bob Westbrook, owner of Cici’s Pizza in Tyler, said people are spending money on alcohol outside the county and that those dollars should be brought back to the local tax base.
“We’re going to present the facts and we feel confident the numbers will show what passage will do for the local economy,” he said. “It’s up to the citizens to decide the fate of this issue.”