Aug 20 2012

Folly City Council Votes Yes to Permanent Alcohol Ban

In an unexpected twist in the saga that is the Folly Beach alcohol ban, city council voted to support a permanent prohibition, eliminating the opportunity for voters to decide the fate of beer on the beach. The vote came down August 14, one day before the deadline to put the referendum on the November ballot.

At a city council meeting on July 24, a petition was submitted that contained enough local signatures in support of a binding resolution on the alcohol ban. This forced council to vote on the matter. But that was just one alcohol-related resolution on the agenda for the August 14 meeting. The second resolution was to put the referendum on the ballot to let voters decide if the alcohol ban should be upheld in a lasting way.

City council tied 3 votes to 3, and Mayor Tim Goodwin cast the deciding vote to permanently ban alcohol on Folly’s beaches. And while the ban isn’t law yet (it still has two more readings before it will be official), it is safe to assume that further readings will pass as well. The temporary ban, which would’ve expired after Labor Day, has been extended through the end of the year.

“We’re in the midst of one of our periodic no-holds-barred arguments about what we want Folly Beach to be,” wrote Mayor Goodwin in The Sandspur, the City of Folly Beach’s newsletter, which was published before council’s August 14vote. “People who live on Folly Beach–and people who do business here–love this place, love what it stands for, and want to do the best for Folly.” This sentiment seems to be what spurred the fast decision.

But some residents are left wondering why a more thought-out approach wasn’t taken. “Just think if we were to come together with dialogue, research, and facts,” wrote Richard D. Brendel, a Folly resident, in the same issue of The Sandspur, “. . . we could come up with lots of positive ideas that could create an effective solution that we could be proud of.”

This time, though, it appears that the “No to a ban, and yes to a plan,” way of thinking has been out voted.

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