Vote yes on beer and wine
Shall the board of selectmen be authorized to grant licenses, without quota and for seasonal or annual terms as the board shall determine, for the sale of wines and malt beverages to be drunk on the premises of restaurants, including those within inns and hotels, with a seating capacity of not less than 30 persons, to be consumed with meals only and consumed by patrons seated at dining tables? Yes
As the chairman of the Citizens to Repeal Prohibition, I am honored to be asked by The Times to express my views. Perhaps I was picked to chair this group because my family is part of the history of Tisbury.
My father, Carlyle Cronig, is 92. He was raised here along with his brothers, Robert, 90, and David, 94, and sisters Ruth, 86, and Ann. Giving back to the community was part of their lives. I still hear stories about my grandfather’s generosity in the market. I grew up listening to the pros and cons about change
There’s always a chance you will offend someone when you take a position on an issue. That is the challenge of public service. When I was on the planning board for 11 years and the wastewater committee for 10 years, we tackled some divisive issues. Remember the scare tactics? If sewering were to pass, the sky was going to fall, the highrises would be built, and the line used ad nauseam "The Character of The Town Will Change." The list of doomsday prophecies that were going to destroy Tisbury never materialized as the town changed to accept sewers.
We hope that the voters of Tisbury make this decision over beer and wine sales based on facts, not reactionary fear-mongering about how the town will change. We hope the following facts help form your decision:
There will be no bars, no taverns, and no hard liquors served.
The selectmen will check that a restaurant sells at least 65 percent food to 35 percent beer and wine. Restaurants have to submit their sales figures. Only restaurants with more than 30 seats and a wait staff may apply for a license.
All of the board of health rules, all the ZBA rules etc. will continue to regulate growth in Tisbury. The board of selectmen will be the regulatory authority, approving licensing fees, hours of operation, physical layouts etc. The selectmen have published a 15-plus-page booklet with additional rules and regulations, after months of discussion.
It will be up to the restaurant owner to decide if he or she want a license. In Rockport, which recently went "wet", a few establishments elected to remain BYOB.
A year-long committee established by Tisbury selectmen concluded that public safety would not be jeopardized. They interviewed the police and fire chiefs. Statistics indicate that OUI charges and police calls have not increased in towns that went from dry to wet.
Any changes at all would require this entire process again, of submitting a warrant article, town meeting vote, state approval, and ballot box vote.
Our children will not be corrupted and follow the path of evil and sin. The nice family in the restaurant will not suddenly be transformed because they paid for a glass of beer or wine with their meal. Nor will they get drunk, because again, they paid for that glass of beer or wine in Tisbury, instead of driving first to Oak Bluffs or Edgartown, and bringing it back to the same restaurant.
What will happen is the town will make some additional revenue. Now customers will leave the restaurants knowing that while they had a great meal, they have not only helped the restaurants and their employees, but all the other local people that provide services to that restaurant each day, along with the local food economy and their families. Our town will benefit from the taxes and fees charged. This money will go back to the town of Tisbury and not into the coffers of Oak Bluffs and Edgartown
Please learn the facts and go to the polls at the American Legion Hall on West William Street in Tisbury on Tuesday April 15th between 12 noon and 8 pm, and vote yes for beer and wine.
Peter M. Cronig, Chairman
Citizens to Repeal Prohibition