March 17, 2016 By: Sandi Argo
Wayne Morris never thought that he would find himself in the middle of a controversy when he opened up his shop on the south end of Jacksboro. And it wasn’t his business that led to the controversy, but his desire to see the town that he and his family love thrive. Morris, son of Jacksboro Mayor Alton Morris, brought himself into the spotlight by setting up a petition to sell alcohol in the city limits.
Not a new subject, the petition has been attempted before, usually with no success. As recent as last year, when another local business owner tried unsuccessfully. A number of years ago the debate made it all the way to a vote (county wide), but voters decided against allowing it.
Last years attempt was wrought with whispers of conspiracy, with many people calling foul play. With a reported number of signatures well over the 400 sought, some were left wondering why it didn’t make it to a vote. According to those involved, the reason was simple. Many of the signatures were disallowed because they came from people who were not registered voters, non residents, or both. Morris made the decision to bring this to just the city vote, and is making certain the signatures are confirmed voters who reside in the city.
Morris says the felling toward the subject range from one of 3 classes:
- Those that don’t drink but will sign
- Those that drink and will sign
- Those that drink but don’t want to have their names on public record as supporters of the petition
Jacksboro has long been known as a sleepy little church town, that stands together to help each other in times of need. Nobody is wanting that to change, especially Morris. “I have no intentions of opening a liquor store or anything” Morris said “I just want to see new opportunities come to Jacksboro. We were approached by a restaurant that would like to open here if they could sell alcohol. There are grocery stores that would like to come to Jacksboro but won’t for the same reason.” Morris added “There is a lot of money leaving the city”.
Morris said that overall, support has been good. As of this afternoon they had collected 267 of the 383 needed to place the issue onto the ballot. Morris is hoping to get 450 signatures, to make certain they have enough to spare. Social media has shown favorable responses to the issue, with many discussions, and as many opinions it seems as there are brands of beer.
Morris is ready to talk it over, in a civil manner, with folks on both sides. He would really like for folks to come in and sign the petition though. “I just want to see the city reach it’s potential. We have some great people trying to make a difference. This could really help bring in some great businesses”
Morris owns the appliance shop at 639 S Main. His normal hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (although sometimes the store is closed due to the fact that he delivers appliances to customers). If you would like to sign the petition to allow the sales of alcohol in the city of Jacksboro, he needs you to do so before the April 25th deadline.
You can also contact him at 940-229-0695. Morris says he will even meet people wherever is convenient, inside the city limits.