Keep Whitehouse Dry: 'We are looking out for the children'
WHITEHOUSE, TX (KLTV) -
The group Keep Whitehouse Dry says they are just trying to protect the children of their city.
For the second time in just three years, Whitehouse voters will be asked to vote on whether or not to allow off-premises beer and wine sales in their city.
Despite similar referendums being passed in neighboring cities in Smith County, the group says they are determined to defeat the proposal once again.
"It's about how it will affect our future generations and our younger children," said Gateway Baptist Church pastor Rick Sydnor. "That's what we really believe in. It's not good because when children have access to it, they're going to get to it. If it's easy, then it makes it easier for them to get addicted to it."
He believes that by keeping Whitehouse dry, the city will be able to attract new residents.
"It really makes better sense to keep Whitehouse dry to keep it a premier city," Sydnor said. "People want to move to premier cities."
Opponents to the proposition argue that it will negatively impact their children, but some business owners support the proposition. They say they are worried about the money Whitehouse will lose to neighboring cities that already allow beer and wine sales.
"We've been put on an island where we're the gateway to Lake Tyler and our consumers can't even get the products they need in our town," said Pro One Automotive owner Phil Rogers. "They're getting them in surrounding towns, which is making our sales tax drop. If our town is weak, nothing's strong. Businesses aren't strong. Churches aren't strong. Everything suffers."
Rogers says the opposition's argument against selling alcohol in Whitehouse just doesn't make sense.
"We're surrounded by alcohol," he said. "The perception that their children are not going to be exposed to alcohol is wrong. It's in Wal-Mart. It's all over Tyler. It's in Bullard. It's in Troup."
Because Tyler, Troup and Bullard have all gone wet, supporters believe that may have helped change the public's perception. They hope that will give the proposition a better chance when it goes up for vote on May 11.