Petition gaining steam

By Gabriel Monte: CNJ staff writer

Several Clovis restaurants have become signature collection points to support a petition for alcohol sales on Sundays.

The Committee for Clovis Progress started Wednesday its petition to collect 725 signatures from Clovis registered voters to put Sunday Alcohol sales on the March 4 municipal election ballot, according committee spokesperson Robin Howe.

“This isn’t so much about the consumption of alcohol on Sunday as this is about giving each person the right to make their own choice,” he said. “Every person should be able to make their own decision what’s right for them.”

Sunday alcohol sales has been something patrons at Leal’s have been asking for, according to Leal’s owner Laura Leal.

“And we do have a lot of out of town people that might be staying in town and they’ll ask for a drink or a margarita and we can’t serve them.” she said. “I think it would a good thing for the local restaurants to have just for some of those customers that might want to enjoy a meal with a drink. They might go out of town on Sundays to do that.”

Applebees General Manager Dustin Barnes said allowing alcohol sales on Sundays would help bring more tax dollars into the city.

“It’s really going to stimulate growth, I believe, in Clovis,” he said. “At the same point, I feel it’s safer for restaurants to serve alcohol where it’s monitored and all our employees are alcohol certified than it is to have a backyard barbecue and have beer bongs going on.”

City Clerk Leighann Melancon said the committee must collect and certify the signatures 60 days before the election.

Howe said the committee circulated a similar petition two years ago that failed with too few qualified signatures.

“We’re a little more organized this time,” he said. “We have a lot more support from business here in the local community.”

This year, he said the group has a list of registered voters in the city to make sure all signatures are valid.

“We won’t be blindly turning in signature sheets this time,” he said.

Clovis restaurants with signature collection points include:
• Applebee’s
• Chili’s
• Red Lobster
• Leal’s Mexican Restaurants