University Park Former Mayors’ Forum Could Benefit From a Cold Beer, I’m Just Sayin’

If you live in U.P. you probably received this letter yesterday from the University Park Former Mayor’s Forum that made it sound like the alcohol propositions, if passed, would cause the fountain in Snider Plaza to spew free beer at children.

I’m still looking for the part in the letter that says something about how beast it’ll be to buy a bottle of wine at the neighborhood Tom Thumb after a day of reading stuff like this.

16 thoughts on “University Park Former Mayors’ Forum Could Benefit From a Cold Beer, I’m Just Sayin’

  • October 20, 2010 at 3:22 pm
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    Try looking at it this way:

    Do we really need more alcohol? Really? Do we??

    Just answer the question.

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  • October 20, 2010 at 3:57 pm
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    What people need to realize is the city loses all local control over what can and cannot be sold in a “store” If you have a space in Snider Plaza, you can get a license to sell beer and wine. Only the TABC can control that. I don’t know about you, but I would just a well not have the drive through bank on Hill crest become a beer barn, or have every nail salon on every corner start to sell beer and wine, just cuz they can. With rents as high as they are the TABC anticipated 100’s of applications for new licenses if this passes.

    I hate to lose my neighbor hood for a few people to reap the benefit. The city doesn’t get any!

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  • October 20, 2010 at 4:11 pm
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    No we don’t, but you’re assuming that the changes would result in “more alcohol”, and I think that assumption is wrong. Let’s break it down by the two propositions on the ballot:

    Prop. 1 – A “for” vote will allow beer and wine sales at grocery stores in University Park (I’m not sure if this also includes convenience stores such as the 7-11 on Hillcrest). It will not allow liquor sales. UP is surrounded by stores that sell beer, wine and liquor. If I want to buy beer, I go to one of these places and buy it. If after the election beer and wine is available at a store a few blocks closer to my house than before, I doubt I will be incentivized to buy more than I would have otherwise, and I think the same holds true for everyone else. If the Tom Thumbs in Snider Plaza and Preston Center start selling beer and wine, they won’t create new drinkers. They will simply be selling the product to customers who would have purchased it elsewhere (in large part at other Tom Thumbs). Bottom line is that there will not be “more alcohol” in UP, except in the most literal sense in that the grocery stores will obviously have in-store inventories they didn’t have before.

    Prop. 2 – A “for” vote will eliminate the private club requirement for restaurants and bars in UP. UP restaurants and bars that hold their liquor licenses as a private club have served beer, wine and liquor in UP for decades, as others have pointed out. Customers do not have to pay to join one of these private clubs, and the Unicard system has made joining a club convenient and seamless. As a result, the private club system is meaningless because it presents absolutely no barrier to an adult who wants to buy a drink. Eliminating the private club requirement will simply get rid of the need for restaurant customers to go through the silly artifice of the Unicard system when they buy a drink, and get rid of a layer of expensive administrative hassles for the restaurants. I can’t see how this change would increase the amount of alcohol sloshing around UP’s commercial areas.

    As to the misleading letter from the former mayors, let’s remember that these people are politicians. We like to believe all politicians lie and cheat except for the ones in our own community, but obviously we would be wrong.

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  • October 20, 2010 at 4:25 pm
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    What @Neal said, and said so well.

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  • October 20, 2010 at 4:41 pm
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    Lifelong- Your post is the essence of bovine scatology. You obviously have not read the law and do not know what you are talking about.

    FACT- UP has no local control because the members of the “Former Mayors Forum” neglected to pass any local ordinances controlling alcohol sales.

    FACT- Under current private club rules, if you have a space in SP you can get a license. Under Proposition 2 you can get a license only if you are a full scale restaurant.

    FACT- The drive through bank on Hillcrest will soon be occupied by the mortgage department of Bank of Texas.

    FACT- Nail salons cannot sell food or beverages. Period.

    FACT- The TABC is anticipating fewer applications because the new permits are more expensive and may only be issued to full scale restaurants.

    FACT- Your neighborhood has been put at risk by the “Former Mayors Forum” for decades. Updating our laws and passing some new local ordinances will preserve your neighborhood.

    FACT-

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  • October 20, 2010 at 4:46 pm
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    Lifelong Parkie, you are assuming that everyone qualifies for a liquor license and is willing to jump through all the hurdles the TABC throws at you to get and maintain one. Liquor licensing is expensive, and getting a license is not easy. Residency requirements would kill most of the applications. I don’t think the TABC is expecting any such thing.

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  • October 20, 2010 at 5:17 pm
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    OK, I’ll try this again:

    Do we really need to increase the *availability* of alcohol? Really? Do we?

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  • October 20, 2010 at 6:57 pm
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    Some of you may have already seen the letter from SMU president Gerald Turner opposing the two propositions. (I posted most of this comment on another thread here).

    Dr. Turner is certainly entitled to his opinion (despite, as he puts it, “SMU’s practice to refrain from taking official positions on issues before University Park’s voters”), but the last paragraph of the letter is outrageous in its mendacity and bad faith. Here is that paragraph, in its entirety (see here):

    “A series of package or convenience stores or restaurants with “happy hours” promoting daily access to alcohol would forever change the nature of the businesses along Hillcrest across from campus, with an adverse impact on the surrounding neighborhood. Therefore, I think it would be best for the proposed changes to be rejected to preserve the character of the community near the campus.” [Emphasis added]

    If one of Dr. Turner’s students turned in work like this, he would be brought before the honor council.

    First, as stated many times before and as the ballot measures make clear, the change in law would not allow package stores.

    Second, I can think of a dozen restaurants in Snider Plaza and on Hillcrest that serve alcohol every day they are open (Hotel Lumen, Half Shells, Banditos, Olivellas, Penne Pomodoro, Cisco Grill, Amore and Club Peggy Sue or whatever it’s called all come to mind). Sushi Kyoto regularly has “Sake Night”. These restaurants periodically have drink specials, and may have happy hours. In what way would eliminating the private club requirement change this?

    Dr. Turner, you are entitled to your own opinions but not your own facts. But I know you are a university president and clearly much smarter than I, so please explain how you reached the conclusions in your letter. Because as I see it, one of three things has happened: you have made an embarrassing error, you are lying, or someone has lied to you about the content of the ballot initiatives. Which is it? Regardless of how it happened, you have just embarrassed yourself and your school in spectacular fashion.

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  • October 20, 2010 at 10:43 pm
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    Eric. It is called freedom. Do we need it? The question is do we want the government to take our ability to make that decision on our own? Let’s get rid of government restrictions on small business. As a university park resident, why shouldn’t we get the taxes for booze sales instead of Dallas and highland park? Our mayor calls himself a republican bur wants to restrict commerce and free enterprise? Sounds like a liberal to me.

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  • October 21, 2010 at 9:39 am
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    UP needs to get its fair share of the sales taxes from alcohol instead of ceding it all to Dallas. Our city grandfathers (former mayors) mean well, but they don’t know what they’re talking about. Get into the 21st century, friends!

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  • October 21, 2010 at 11:15 am
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    If you don’t like alcohol, don’t buy it.

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  • October 21, 2010 at 12:47 pm
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    Well said Max, and Neal (twice). It seems that everything the “Mayor’s Council” has pushed down our throats in the past few years has been to our detriment (at least to the detriment of my neighborhood). And R. Gerald Turner has no concern for anything other than those who fund him at SMU.

    Use common sense. Is it a hassle, although small, to have to let a waiter swipe your driver’s license to get a beer at Peggy Sue’s? Is it an inconvenience to have to drive to Midway or Greenville to buy a bottle of wine? Of course.

    But frankly, if Coffee & Turner & the rest want me to do something, I’m inclined to look very hard at the alternative.

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  • October 21, 2010 at 1:47 pm
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    OK, let me get this straight. If the propositions pass, I won’t be able to sell alcohol out of my garage? What if I live near Snider Plaza?

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  • October 21, 2010 at 2:05 pm
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    As a former resident and current businessman in University Park I am alarmed at all the misinformation as well as scare tactics coming out in these recent mailings. Pleaser READ carefully what is really being proposed on the ballot here. It is actually more retrictive (CONSERVATIVE) than what is in place now. To sell a cocktail or beer by the glass, these propositions would require a licensed holder to have a full service kitchen, have food sales at least in excess of 50% and require 8 distinct entrees on the menu daily ? Does that sound like a bar to you ? If it does you have clearly never been in the business. The insinuation that anyone can just get a license to sell package beer and wine is ridiculous. Try applying for a liquor license in the State of Texas and you will see, rightly so, how extensive, exhuasting and expensive the process is. But my favorite “omission” on all these recent mailings is that HIGHLAND PARK has had the kind of liquor laws in place we are asking to vote on and as far as I can see, they haven’t experienced any of the dire consequences being portrayed. I respect all voters opinoins I just wish they could all have access to the FACTS, or have them correctly and unbiasedly explained. Why once again is UP playing catch up with HP?

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  • October 22, 2010 at 1:57 pm
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    Francis, your post is right. University Park will be catching up with Highland Park if passed. Also, lets get government out of the way of our freedom. How can these mayors call themselves conservative Republicans yet put more resurrections on businesses and personal freedom? Small business is the driving force behind taxes in University Park. Next thing we know, they will want to remove burger and BBQ joints because they are an eye sore.

    TABC will never allow underage drinkers in University Park. This notion that our children will be harmed is ridiculous. Also, if you pay attention and parent your children, selling alcohol at Tom Thumb should not be a problem.

    I SAY VOTE YES!!!!!!

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  • October 24, 2010 at 2:33 pm
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    I’ve resisted writing anything before on the subject, but I just can’t take it any more. Friday I received a new mailer showing guys in a strip bar and Beale Street in Memphis. Can anybody be for those tactics? To Eric I would ask, Really? I finally had to send this letter to our Mayor.

    “Mayor Davis

    I own Bandito’s Tex Mex. I am 49 years old, live at xxxx Haynie in University Park, have lived in the Park Cities since the 4th Grade, I’m a commercial real estate attorney, graduated from SMU law school, and I’m friends with your son. I just received a mailer from your organization. I assume that you endorsed it because it quotes you. If you are for or against something, I respect your right to that position. But nobody has the right to mislead people and scare them. Unless you want to discuss it, I will not go point-by-point with your mailer. Frankly, many things in it are so outrageous and false, I doubt many will believe it. Rather, I want you to recognize two of the major tenets in the mailer as objectively untrue.

    First, “Open the door of the community to bars, lounges and dives.” If the proposition passes, it will allow a restaurant with a license to sell beer, wine and mixed beverages. In the code, a restaurant must derive more than half of its sales from food. Do you realize that there is no such restriction under the current private club law in which we now operate? To be clear, you can open a bar, lounge or dive under current law, but you would not be allowed to under Proposition 2.

    Second, “…weaken the process already in place for age-verification intended to prevent underage drinking.” The private club law has nothing to do with age verification. It is true, that in some of the U.P. restaurants like ours, the first time you come in we scan the driver’s license of one person at the table. Frankly, this is for our convenience to get information on our new club member that then gets reported to the State of Texas. You may have noticed that many of the restaurants don’t scan your driver’s license, but rather, make you fill out a card. This is because those restaurants don’t want to pay $250 to a service each month for reporting its members to the State. None of this has anything to do with the age verification process. The TABC will tell you that. Quite simply, if we have any question whatsoever that somebody is underage, we card them.

    Let’s keep this debate above-board. Showing pictures of what I believe to be Beale Street in Memphis and men in a strip club does not further that objective.”

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