It’s been put up for a vote twice and failed to pass twice, but it’s really time for the City Commission to give a limited open container ordinance a fair chance to succeed or to fail on its own merits.

A recent Downtown Development Authority poll showed a majority of business owners and residents approve of giving the ordinance a chance in a 90-day trial.

It looks like the DDA is going to pitch the measure to the Alcohol Control Commission on June 21 and present their argument to city commissioners on June 28.

They’ve done their homework and there is a lot of evidence from similar sized communities such as Dalton, Woodstock, Gainesville, Carrollton and others showing no increase in significant issues such as public drunkenness or crimes related to alcohol abuse.

There’s going to be opposition, but the limited ordinance as currently proposed would only be active Thursday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. While even that may change, it’s still not a big ask.

It’s worth giving it a chance.

For those who disagree, you’d then be put in the best position to sit back and say “I told you so” if it falls flat.

Back to politics

Speaking of the City Commission.

City Commissioner Wendy Davis announced this week that she’s running for Congress. Davis has always been an outspoken voice while on the commission and occasionally rubbed people the wrong way, but for the right reasons.

She’s popular in Rome and very well-known in Rome but we’re not sure how well she’ll fare in the outlying counties in the 14th District. We’ll leave that topic to her campaign strategist and the voters on Election Day.

It’ll be interesting to see what the wake caused by that decision brings to the surface.

Rome City Schools board member Elaina Beeman has already said she’s going to run for the Ward Two post. Others appear to be flirting with the idea but haven’t committed yet.

We also have to remember that currently Commissioners Jamie Doss and Randy Quick haven’t committed to running to keep their seats either. One new member can stir up a commission, three...well three could really change things.

We’ll just have to see what shakes out in the coming weeks.

No prison for the orchestrators of the opioid epidemic?

In the middle of a pandemic it was easy to forget we’re already in the midst of another epidemic, one caused by the overmarketing and over prescription of opioids.

The number of deaths, lives ruined, and the amount of tax money spent combating this greed-fueled plague almost pale in comparison to the fact that the people and entities who got astoundingly rich off this scam are going to walk away without a day in prison.

A proposed settlement is offering the OxyContin manufacturer Purdue Pharma, its wealthy owners and associates essentially a free pass. The Sackler family, which owns Purdue Pharma, will forfeit over $4 billion to fund opioid treatment and mitigation programs, but will receive immunity for family members and members of the company.

Those billions won’t put them in the poor house either, they’re keeping more than they’re giving up.

Unfortunately for those who’ve become addicted, been imprisoned or died as a result of their predatory business practices — they’re still out in the cold.

While we’re only privy to a small portion of this lawsuit, we need to be vocal in the rejection of any deal that allows those who caused this much damage to walk off without a day in jail.

Thank you for reading.


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