Andy Jackson: CNJ Staff Writer
A petition to allow Sunday alcohol sales in Clovis bars and restaurants lacked the required signatures to be placed on the ballot for the next municipal election, according to City Clerk LeighAnn Melancon.
To have made it on the March 7 ballot, the petition required 733 signatures from registered Clovis voters. However, the clerk’s office counted only 571, Melancon said Friday.
Petitioner Robin Howe said he turned in the petition to Melancon’s office Tuesday with 880 signatures.
Melancon said some names were repeated, illegible or not registered Clovis voters.
Petitioner and longtime Clovis resident Len Vohs said he wasn’t surprised to hear the petition fell short of the required number of valid signatures.
“The biggest problem was that it was circulated during the holiday season,” Vohs said. “We didn’t have time to collect signatures, because we were busy doing other things. A lot of people who signed didn’t realize they had to live in the city.”
Vohs does not feel defeated. He said he’ll try to petition for Sunday alcohol sales in Clovis again.
“We’ll go after it again— no harm no foul,” Vohs said.
There is no statute that addresses how long petitioners must wait to resubmit a particular petition for voter consideration in a special election, Melancon said.
Petitioners could request a special election if they gather the necessary signatures, Melancon said.
Petitioners believe Sunday alcohol sales would benefit the city by providing residents and visitors with more dining and drinking options.
“People go to Amarillo and Lubbock to drink on Sunday, “ Vohs said. “When people come to Clovis we need to be aggressive in receiving their business. We have an opportunity to do what other communities are doing,” Vohs said.
Clovis voted down a proposal for Sunday alcohol sales in restaurants and stores in an October 1995 special election, Melancon said.