Wednesday, December 16, 2009
MONMOUTH -- Community members seeking to end Monmouth's hard alcohol restrictions believe they've handed in enough signatures to place the issue before voters during the May election.
Ray Stratton, owner of Main Street Pub & Eatery and a proponent of the issue, said he submitted 863 signatures to the city recorder on Monday, Dec. 14, after a last-ditch collections push this past weekend.
State initiative laws require signatures from 15 percent of registered voters in a given jurisdiction for a measure to qualify for the ballot. For Monmouth, 659 were needed by the gathering deadline on Dec. 15.
Chief petitioner Cec Koontz and others began their petition to end the city's longtime prohibition on the sale of hard liquor in September. Collection efforts ramped up during the last week of November, with volunteers acquiring perhaps 500 signatures in the last three weeks, Stratton said.
The signatures must first be verified by the Polk County Clerk to be added to the ballot. County officials expect to have a definitive answer before the end of the week.