By Lawton Vallely
For the Opelika
The Opelika City Council held an extensive meeting Tuesday night at City Hall.
Highlights of the 55-minute meeting included a unanimous vote to nominate Tipi Miller to fill the vacancy on the Opelika Board of Education.
Miller is known in the Opelika community as Director of the non-profit Keep Opelika Beautiful. She will assume the vacancy on the Board of Education with her term ending April 1, 2020.
The council also voted against a resolution that would allow the city council to control the time of alcohol sales on Sunday for local restaurants deciding instead to allow Opelika citizens to be heard through a special referendum during the next general election cycle. The legislation failed to pass by a 3-2 vote.
Patsy Jones, Ward 1 representative, expressed why she felt compelled to vote no on the legislation commonly referred to as the ‘Brunch Bill’.
“It is a decision that I feel the people made. And I think when we allow our citizens to make a decision; we need to live by that,” Jones said. “And I think they would respect that if we were to give them the opportunity to choose again if they were in favor of it. And that where I am, not putting myself in personally, I just know that this is something that should be decided by the people.”
In a special referendum in 2002, a total of 7,173 Opelika residents cast their votes on a bill that would set Sunday alcohol sales for noon in Opelika. The measure passed by 253 votes.
The fate of this new bill could be a decision made by Opelika citizens through a special referendum, with council approval. The earliest eligible election period is November 2018.
The council then tabled the development agreement for First South Farm Credit and amending zone ordinance section 2.2, 7.3, 7.6, 8.16, and 8.17, in an effort to gain a better understanding on the effects of amending the zoning ordinance.
In other business, the council:
– approved a request from Irish Bread Pub requesting a retail liquor and on-premise beer license
– approved expense reports for various departments within the city
– approved a wholesale beer and wine license for Premium Beverage, Inc.
– approved a walk on Feb. 17.
– awarded a bid to Opelika Police Department for new automobile equipment.
– reappointed Ben Hand and Jeff Tickal as Judge and Assistant Prosecutor, respectively.