Originally created 10/30/00

Drink licenses a lesson in democracy 103000 - The Augusta Chronicle



After reading the article by Phil Kent in the Oct. 22 Chronicle, I felt compelled to write.

As one who was born and raised in a country where people do not have the same kind of liberty to voice opinions and objections against government policies, I am completely dumbfounded as to why Mr. Kent insists on labeling Curtis Baptist Church, Wholelife Ministries and residents around the Washington Road and Azalea Street as "anti-business."

All they did was voice concerns about establishments which they believed would adversely affect their lives. They certainly had a right to do that under current law, just like anyone else in this city. That was an entirely lawful conduct.

One thing that puzzled me the most, as I read Mr. Kent's article, was whether he had ever read the ordinance in question himself? Either Mr. Kent does not understand the laws regarding the issuance of liquor licenses, or worse, is willfully misleading his readers by intentionally leaving out some crucial facts to justify his opinion.

I believe a journalist in this country bears a greater responsibility to be truthful and complete in discussing issues because of the tremendous freedom they are afforded. Freedom of press was established, in part, to guarantee that government be accountable to its people.

Despite Mr. Kent's assertion that the commissioners ruled contrary to the ordinance; in fact, it allows the commission to consider things other than the distance between an establishment such as Off Broadway and churches and schools.

So why does he object to the commissioners looking into those additional considerations? Those considerations were written into the ordinance as a way of allowing the commission to make decisions that are best under each set of facts and circumstances...

Phillip Kimm, Evans