‘Alcohol sales to help our schools?’

This letter is in response to the letter to the editor in the Sept. 24 edition of The Blount Countian entitled “Do we want our kids … Fundraising?” by Greg Cornelius. Mr. Cornelius implies that we need to approve Blount County to be wet to generate thousands of tax dollars off the sale of alcohol for our schools. He also implies that if we had these tax dollars our children would no longer have to fundraise to cover school expenditures not covered in their allotted budgets. He states that these tax dollars are going to surrounding counties and their schools.

His letter has outraged me and has led me to do something that I have never done before. I usually sit quietly and keep my opinions to myself but not on this issue after reading his letter. He is implying that in order to help our schools to become better and to give our children a good education we need to allow the sale of alcohol in our great county. Not volunteer at your child’s school, join PTSO, or be involved in all aspects of your child’s eduction, etc. – just allow the sale of alcohol.

I grew up in “wet” Jefferson County and have lived in Blount County for the past 12 years. I attended a Jefferson County school. I am a proud 1990 graduate of Warrior High School. Even when I was in school all those years ago, we still had to fundraise – even in a wet county.

Problems come with allowing the sale of alcohol. Money to law enforcement will have to increase. Alcohol causes more problems for people than are talked about. As a child whose mother drank, I can attest to the more likelihood of child abuse due to drinking. I know; I have lived it; she was more violent when drinking. Families are destroyed because of alcoholism. Even more of our children will come from broken homes. Drinking alcohol causes people to do things that they may never even consider if they were not mentally impaired by the effects of the alcohol.

If the sale of alcohol was allowed in Blount County, our children and teenagers would be more likely to try underage drinking. It would be easier for them to acquire because all they would have to do is go down the street, not the next county over. I know that underage drinking is illegal, but all you have to do is turn on the news to hear about a gas station, a restaurant, or some other business being busted for selling alcohol to minors. Even some parents purchase it and allow their children to consume it at their home, although it is also against the law to do so. So yes, it does happen and they will get access to the alcohol. There again, law enforcement will have to pay more money to have undercover agents to try to crack down on the offenders.

I see all the problems that Jefferson County is facing and the crime that occurs there (most of it alcohol related). I do not want my children to grow up in that kind of environment. That is why my husband and I left there and moved here 12 years ago in order to start our family. We love Blount County.

I say we can increase the county revenue by having more family-friendly activities and businesses. Places where families can go and not be worried about what their children may see or be exposed to while there. Building movie theatres, bowling alleys, and other places that are clean and fun for families would be a great way to increase revenues in our county.

I believe that we should vote to keep our county roads and our families safe for everyone. Keep Blount County DRY.

Cindy Thomas