At the Dec. 12, 2010 City Commission meeting, the united front of east Albany consisting of concerned residents, the religious sector and Albany State University should be commended on their steadfast opposition to Jaxx’s application for a liquor license on Oglethorpe Boulevard. The application was denied by a 5-2 vote with commissioners Howard, Hubbard, Marietta, Postell and Mayor Adams voting against it and commissioners Pike and Langstaff voting for it. The five demonstrated courage and foresight by doing what was best for the community and the students; they showed integrity as true representatives of the people.
A Denial Hearing was held earlier that day which was attended by approximately 75-100 citizens. Relevant facts were presented by Aaron Johnson, an economist from Darton College, and ASU’s Chief of Staff and University Counsel. Sharon “Nyota” Tucker, Esq.
Two relevant facts are: (1) ASU generates over $140 million annually to Albany’s economy and (2) the current number of convenient stores, grocery stores and existing liquor stores has already saturated the neighborhood with alcoholic products and another such store is not needed.
Alex Rowe testified he was being “picked on”. No, Mr. Rowe, we aren’t after you or your business; we just want what’s best for the community and young people. You would garnish our support with an alternative business
However, the most salient testimony was rendered by Attorney Tucker as follows:
- In a 1998 Supreme Court of Georgia decision, the court upheld the denial of a liquor license even when the applicant had satisfied the minimum distance requirements from schools and churches because the commissioners believed that the location of the liquor store would have an adverse or negative impact on the community and other businesses n the neighborhood.
- Since that time, the Georgia Supreme Court has handled down four additional cases which have upheld the exercise of similar discretion by local government authorities
It was stated in a 2007 study that east Albany felt alienated from the rest of Albany. Hopefully, as a result of this victory, the people of east Albany will feel empowered and continue to be involved and will demand that they not be treated as “second-class” Albanians. When a people feel they belong, it gives meaning and purpose to a person’s life.
In unity there is strength.