Apparently, it’s okay with Erath County residents if you want to pick up a six pack of beer or bottle of wine in the grocery store, but not a bottle of Jack Daniels or Smirnoff.
Last fall Dena Dinius and others started circulating petitions in favor of putting a measure on the ballot in 2017 in favor of the legalization of liquor sales in Erath County, but in a phone conversation with Dinius this week she said, “We didn’t get the necessary signatures to put the issue on the May 2017 ballot.”
Asked if they came close, she replied, ”No we missed it by quite a lot. I’m not exactly sure how many signatures we got, but not nearly enough, so at least for now, things will stay as they are with only beer and wine sales allowed in Erath County.”
In an interview with the E-T regarding the issue in September when the campaign was in full swing, Dinius said, "This is a matter of convenience, safety and keeping the revenue that's flowing out of Erath County to neighboring counties right now. When people have to leave the county to buy liquor, they often will spend money on food, gas and entertainment elsewhere. That all a net loss for Erath County."
Dinius said a big part of the reason for the failed effort was simply lack of people power.
”Basically you’re asking people to donate their time, and a lot of people who might support the idea just don’t have it to give,” she said.
The issue needed 2,588 valid signatures for it to make the ballot in a process that was 60 days long, and they had to have those valid signatures ready to turn into the County Clerk by Nov. 14.
Dinius is not sure if they will try again for the November 2017 election.
“We learned a lot about the process and it’s a possibility we’ll try again. The November election is better than the May election because of interest and turnout, but we just don’t know right now," she said. "As I said, it’s very time intensive and you need more people than we had for this one.”