Note, nearly the entire interview was with the liquor supporters with no perspective or interview from the opposition organizers. Why is that?
Liquor Stores Defeated; Amendments Approved
In a fairly close vote, residents of Lenoir City and Loudon - encouraged by local religious leaders - voted to forbid package liquor stores within city limits of both towns.
The county was dotted with dueling vote "no" and vote "yes" signs, but the vote "no" message was evidently effective. With all precincts reporting, the measure went down to defeat by a margin of 986 to 1,101 in Lenoir City and 769 to 579 in the City of Loudon. The push to change the law in the cities was led by three local businessmen, Ed Bell, Barry Gordon and John Tuck who have said in the past they thought it was in area’s best interest to prevent tax money made from liquor sales from leaving the county.
"We appreciate the people who came out and voted and we’re sorry we didn’t get enough votes," said Bell. "I guess we’ll send our taxes to other counties." Bell said at this point, he had no other plans to pursue the issue.
"We just put it before the voters to make the decision and that decision has been made," he said. "We worked hard to get it passed. It would have meant about a half a million dollars a year that could have gone to schools, law enforcement and different entities in the county.
"I really appreciate the people who worked hard to support it and naturally, we wish it had passed."
Others were pleased with the result. "The basis behind it [liquor stores in the city] was that we need that tax money," noted Loudon City Councilman Lewis "Charlie Brown" Garner, who is also a church pastor. "If local officials have to depend on a sin tax to balance our budget, then they ought to vote every one of us out because we’re not doing our jobs. We’re doing fine without it," he said of additional tax money liquor stores might have brought into the city.
In a statewide referendum to pass a constitutional amendment, voters overwhelmingly favored the "traditional marriage" measure. It codifies popular sentiment that marriage should be between a man and a woman and bars homosexuals from marriage in Tennessee.
The measure won handily by a statewide margin of approximately 84 percent to 16 percent. In Loudon County, the amendment won by a vote of 12,822 to 2,870.
Loudon County residents voted overwhelming in favor of a constitutional amendment freezing property tax rates for elderly citizens across the state. The amendment was approved locally by a vote of 12,445 in favor to 2,431 opposed.