My family spent time in Cullman this past weekend. First at Heritage Park, with soccer, baseball and softball fields, walking trails galore, a Cullman gem to be sure…a soapbox subject of mine for another day. After the game, we went to the downtown warehouse district. What a pleasant surprise! Boutiques, a wonderful deli, shops, and a fantastic covered farmer’s market. As we strolled through the shops, I took the liberty to ask a few shop owners about their experience with the wet/dry issue in Cullman. One shop owner said, “Initially, I was against it, but I can’t argue with the revenue and the positive things the city has done with it. I’m glad now it was voted in.” Another store owner invited us to Octoberfest. “Last year was the biggest ever, and this year we expect it to be even more successful. There were no incidents where alcohol was involved during the festival to my knowledge.” Both owners had complimentary comments about other business owners in town and their city government for the strict regulations in place regarding alcohol sales. Did we have to step over any drunks in the streets? Not a one.
To reference the letters of last week, I also have the utmost admiration for our teachers. But I am sure that some of them would rather NOT have to spend money out of their own pockets to photocopy extra worksheets for students, or pay themselves for other supplies they use in their classrooms because our county cannot afford to do so. I, for one, would love to see our schools have a dedicated art teacher again, and music and drama classes. Better upkeep of roads? Absolutely. But unfortunately, the funding is just not there. Any amount towards goals such as these would be more than what we currently have.
I simply do not understand the cons in the issue. To sell a legal substance and keep the revenue in the county seems so straightforward. Where is the hue and cry against businesses that sell tobacco? Where are the rallies to warn people of the dangers of fast food?
Do we turn off the news to keep from being exposed to bad things? Quit reading newspapers so our heads won’t get filled with crazy ideas? Don’t we want our children and residents to be educated, informed, and aware? Of course we do.
If you do not want to expose your children to alcohol, then don’t. Teach them your values. Let’s instill our morals and principles to our children so we can trust them to make wise decisions as they grow. Let’s do our job so they will have the strength to turn away from “charmed cobras.”
I am all for keeping Blount County special, but is creating a bubble around us the right way to do it?