Archive for Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Tonganoxie to re-examine Sunday liquor sales

June 2, 2009


The Tonganoxie City Council approved a liquor ordinance about a year ago that allowed liquor stores to be open on certain holidays, while still prohibiting Sunday retail liquor sales.

Now, it appears the question of Sunday sales will again need to be addressed.

City Attorney Mike Kelly said Tuesday that Tonganoxie’s liquor ordinance didn’t fall in line with former Attorney General Phill Kline’s 2006 opinion regarding liquor sales. The attorney general’s opinion came after Syracuse, a western Kansas community, adopted a similar ordinance.

“All or nothing, that’s a short way to say it,” Kelly said.

Basically, Kelly said, a city couldn’t pick and choose between allowing retail sales on certain holidays and allowing Sunday retail sales.

Risa DeVaney, Syracuse city clerk, said another ordinance later was adopted there, allowing for retail liquor sales for one minute on Sundays – 7:59 p.m. to 8 p.m. That way, stores could also be open on select holidays.

Kathy Bard, Tonganoxie’s assistant city administrator, said Monday that an Alcoholic Beverage Control official contacted her a few days before Memorial Day, a holiday when retail liquor sales were allowed in Tonganoxie under the ordinance.

Kelly said he hand-delivered letters to each of the city’s liquor stores explaining ABC’s stance.

ABC learned of Tonganoxie’s ordinance after Deb Whitfield, owner of Angell’s Liquor, inquired about the ordinance. Whitfield’s store has a Tonganoxie address, but is outside the western city limits on Kansas Highway 16.

Whitfield said she was double-checking with ABC whether she could also be open on Memorial Day. She said Angell’s Liquor was open the previous Memorial Day because of Tonganoxie’s ordinance.

She purchased the business in January.

Tonganoxie Mayor Mike Vestal said it would be up to the City Council to decide how to proceed.

“My thoughts are, the way the economy is I wouldn’t be in objection to it with Sundays and holidays,” Vestal said. “They’re doing it everywhere around us, and it’s hurting our stores.

“You might as well leave the city dollars here. But I know there’s a lot of opposition to Sunday sales.”

The council will meet at 7 p.m. Monday in Tonganoxie City Council Chambers.


KansasVoter 8 years ago

"former Attorney General Phill Kline’s 2006 opinion regarding liquor sales. [...] a city couldn’t pick and choose between allowing retail sales on certain holidays and allowing Sunday retail sales."

What?!? A reasonable decision made by Phill? Unpossible!

Shardwurm 8 years ago

Preventing sale of anything on Sunday is so 1930s. Life continues 7 days a week. Let's quit imposing Blue Laws on anyone. This culture is so diverse now it's almost embarassing to even be debating this.

introversion 8 years ago

Let's keep Sunday liquor sales out in Tonganoxie, but let's make it illegal to sell or purchase tobacco products on Sundays as well.

Let's see how that flies. It's ok to smoke in church, just no drinky.

ralphralph 8 years ago

Might as well open it up ... we're all going straight to hell anyways.

Mike Blur 8 years ago

Embarrassing is what Kansas is all about when it comes to liquor laws. Bars and restaurants are prohibited from advertising drink specials on radio and TV (although promotions via the web appear to be OK, or at least unregulated for now.) Happy hours are illegal in Kansas--drink specials must be in force for the entire day the bar is open.

Heck, Kansas hasn't even ratified the 21st Amendment yet.

penguin 8 years ago

I am surprised that Syracuse, Kansas is the model for anything. I also can't imagine they have more then 1 liquor store. However it also seems silly to not allow sales on Sunday when so many around you do. I would think the desire to collect tax revenue is driving a change of heart addition to the legal aspects.

classclown 8 years ago

mike_blur (Mike Blur) says…

Heck, Kansas hasn't even ratified the 21st Amendment yet.


Probably due to Kansas being a catalyst to the 18th amendment. This being the land of Carrie Nation and all. You know... part of Kansas' rich and proud history.

Rather ironic Kansas calling itself the Free State.

introversion 8 years ago

I don't think its that ironic. One day of illegal booze sales and enslaving a race of people probably shouldn't be lumped into the same basket.

Shane Garrett 8 years ago

I just hope they open booze store before first church services, so I can enjoy the sunday sermon. Or at least before kick off on sunday football.

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