Restaurant sales of liquor by the drink might come to pass if Harlem voters approve two special election questions on Tuesday's ballot.
The first question asks voters to approve Sunday distilled spirits and alcohol sales by the drink. The second asks voters whether the city may issue licenses to sell liquor by the drink in restaurants.
Restaurant sales of beer and wine already are allowed Monday-Saturday in Harlem, and just one restaurant has applied for and received a license, said City Manager Jean Dove. Passage of the two questions would allow liquor by the drink in restaurants, and all sales of alcohol by the drink on Sunday.
Residents of Harlem also will be the only Columbia County voters Tuesday deciding a local contested race, choosing from among three candidates to fill two Harlem City Council seats.
Newcomer Melonie Dappie is taking on incumbents Tom Blalock and Robin Root in the nonpartisan election. The top two vote-getters win the seats.
"It's open to run if they want to and if people think we're doing a bad job, they should run," said Root, a nine-year veteran of the council.
Blalock has served on city council for five years. He and Root said the big issue facing Harlem in coming years is the expansion of its infrastructure and downtown revitalization.
A phone message left for Dappie was not returned Wednesday and Thursday.
All other county elections were decided during the Republican primary when no Democratic opponents filed to face incumbents or to challenge Republican primary winners.
Those running unopposed in Tuesday's election include Sheriff Clay Whittle, Probate Judge Pat Hardaway, Lee Anderson for state representative in District 117, District Attorney Ashley Wright, Coroner Vernon Collins, Tax Commissioner Kay Allen, her husband Charles Allen for the District 3 Commission seat, and Trey Allen for the District 2 Commission seat.
Though Wade Padgett is running unopposed for chief magistrate, he is expected to give up the seat shortly after his new term starts in January to take an appointed position as a Superior Court judge.
All but one county school board seat is up for re-election in unopposed nonpartisan races. Regina Buccafusco, Roxanne Whitaker, Mike Sleeper and Wayne Bridges are running.
Because of a redrawing of the school board districts to create a board chairman elected countywide, the state Legislature mandated the one-time race for four seats.
The next school board election will take place in 2010 for the seats held by Mildred Blackburn and Sleeper.
The 2012 election will be for Buccafusco's chairmanship and Whitaker's and Bridges' seats.
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