On Monday, July 16, I decided to watch the Alpharetta City Council meeting online because there were several topics that I found interesting as a resident of the Downtown District. The expanded homestead exemption caught my eye, but really, I was there to watch the council debate the “Brunch Bill” that you also recently wrote about.

It didn’t take long for my curious optimism that our council would follow the leads of our neighboring cities who are charging ahead with this to wither quickly.

I found several things disturbing. First and foremost was how two council members (Donald Mitchell and Ben Burnett) had some serious concerns about this bill. They weren’t concerned because they themselves thought it was a bad idea, but because their ministers told them it was a bad idea. While it is fine to let one’s faith guide them in their governing decisions, I find it very worrying that we have several council members who are essentially doing the bidding of their ministers, when they should be serving the entire public.

The primary concern was that a church-goer may run into a drunk person on the street at 11 a.m. on Sunday. Sure, that would be undesirable, but it’s such a remote possibility, it should not even seriously be considered. For one, public drunkenness is illegal at any time of any day, and our fine police force does a great job of keeping us safe. Second, how is this more concerning than the (greater) possibility of running into a drunk on the streets at 10 p.m. on Friday, when all places are pouring and open carry is allowed?

Let’s not kid ourselves. The church is worried about losing their monopolies on being the only place to pour wine on Sunday mornings, and losing church members along with it.

We live in a representative republic and not a theocracy where churches set the rules. Our City Council should turn this vote over to the people to decide, not their ministers.

– Daniel McAlonan, Alpharetta

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