Recent petitions to allow alcohol sales in Jacksonville will appear before the Cherokee County Commissioners’ Court Feb. 22, Tax Assessor-collector Linda Little said. The petitions were handed over approximately 30 days ago by Progress Jacksonville, a special purpose political action committee.

“I’m not going to say anything one way or the other until it goes to the commissioners,” Little said when asked whether the petitions of about 1,200 signatures had the required 1,010 to place the initiatives on the ballot. “We’ll announce it at commissioners’ court.”

Two petitions were distributed throughout the city at the beginning of December 2009, one allowing a vote for the legal sale of alcohol for off-premise consumption only and permitting the sale of beer and wine in grocery and convenience stores. Another would legalize the sale of alcohol at state-recognized restaurants without requiring private club memberships.

Progress Jacksonville Chair George Douglas said he is optimistic about the outcome.

“We did pre-check them as people wanted to sign them,” Douglas said. “We turned away a lot who wanted to sign who didn’t live in the city.”

Douglas said he and the rest of the Progress Jacksonville committee are fairly certain enough petition signatures are viable to cause the initiatives to go to ballot for May elections.

Deputy Voter Registrar Connie Quine said roughly 10-15 percent of signatures are generally removed from most petitions due to being invalid.

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