The Blount Countian
Parties in the Neal vs. City of Oneonta “right to vote” case met in Blount County Circuit Court last Wednesday for a preliminary discussion of issues in the upcoming challenge to Oneonta’s scheduling of a special “wet/dry” election to determine whether liquor may be sold legally inside the city. The case was filed against the city by Brandon Neal, a local attorney, after the city accepted a petition to call a wet/dry referendum from a local pro-alcohol group.
According to state law, Blount County municipalities, along with municipalities in two other counties, were excluded by legislative act in 2009 from being able to hold a local referendum on the matter. The local election scheduled is thereby illegal, according to the plaintiff.
The City of Oneonta will maintain that the act, now embodied as Code of Alabama 28- 2A-1, is unconstitutional. Citizens of Oneonta and other Blount County municiplities have the same “right to vote” in a wet/dry referendum as towns and cities of 1,000 or more population in other counties, according to that view.
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