Editorial: Vote yes for Sunday liquor sales
“Shall the City of Worthington be allowed to issue on-sale licenses to restaurants, clubs, bowling centers, and hotels for the sale of intoxicating liquor on Sunday?”
That’s the question that Worthington voters will have the opportunity to answer with a “yes” or “no” next Tuesday. We’re hopeful that, at long last, this community receives the go-ahead from its residents to offer Sunday liquor sales.
In 2016, most cities in southwest Minnesota (with the exception of Luverne, which is presenting a similar question to voters Tuesday) have Sunday liquor sales, but not Worthington. This isn’t for a lack of trying. Worthington had its first Sunday liquor vote in 1984, when it was defeated by 48 votes. Exactly 20 years later, Sunday liquor sales failed by a margin of nearly 800 votes.
We’d like to think the tide may turn this time around. For starters, the 2004 vote faced strong opposition from the Worthington Ministerial Association, which wrote a Daily Globe letter to the editor encouraging a no vote. Twelve years later, there is no coordinated opposition to the Sunday liquor question, and there seems to be a greater acceptance in general that allowing the opportunity to purchase a spirited drink in Worthington on a Sunday isn’t going to provoke community-crushing moral decay.
Perhaps more than anything, Sunday liquor sales allows for choice on multiple fronts. Obviously, an individual -- should the question pass -- would have the ability to buy liquor in a variety of establishments on a Sunday. If he or she doesn’t want to for any number of reasons, they clearly don’t have to. And, by the same token, if a business would rather remain closed Sunday than be open and selling Sunday liquor, that’s perfectly fine as well. It’s a matter of choice.
Additionally, business leaders in the community have long said that approval of Sunday liquor sales will strengthen the ability to lure other restaurants to town and stimulate overall economic growth. We, of course, have no guarantee that a major restaurant chain will come to Worthington soon after passage of this question (if it passes), but it has got to make this city more attractive from a retail standpoint. Plus, having such an option available locally keeps people here on a Sunday instead of heading somewhere else for a mixed drink. That keeps their money here, too, and they just might also spend dollars elsewhere in town while they’re at it.
It’s time Worthington joined many other communities in this region by offering Sunday liquor sales.