Sundays will stay dry in the town of Pierson for the foreseeable future.
An ordinance that would have changed a long-standing rule prohibiting the Sunday sale of alcohol in the northwest Volusia town died.
While the ordinance passed on first reading in June, the mood was less spirited at the July 26 Town Council meeting.
Proceedings started in favor of change with a public comment from Pierson Planning Commission Member Paul Martel, who called the current rules banning alcohol sales on Sundays “archaic” and in need of being eradicated.
“People, citizens of this town, should have the ability to purchase what they want, and not be regulated by no one,” Martel said.
Fellow Planning Commission Member Linnie Richardson was on the same page as Martel. Richardson acknowledged some of the arguments against the change, saying she grew up with an alcoholic father. However, Richardson said, anyone who wants alcohol under the current rules can still drive to DeLand to get it.
Not everyone was in favor of the change.
The Rev. Larry Miller not only gave the invocation that kicked off the Town Council meeting, but he spoke against the ordinance, too.
“One day, one little day, so that all the thousands of people that work are not enticed by the alcohol on Sunday and they have to get sober,” Miller said. “They appreciate it on Monday morning when they don’t have the hangovers and the headaches and everything that goes along with it.”
Vice Mayor Robert F. Greenlund said he had spoken to a number of citizens who were interested in Sunday alcohol sales. His fellow Town Council member D. Gray Leonhard, however, said he had heard the opposite from plenty of residents.
Town Council Member Sergia Cardenas, like Richardson, said she grew up with an alcoholic family member, but that she had heard from enough citizens that they wanted the rules changed.
“But, in this republic, we cannot put our own feelings [over theirs], and I am here working for the people of my town,” she said.
Greenlund made a motion to accept the ordinance, but no other member of the Town Council seconded it. The proposal died for lack of a second.
Pierson’s Sunday alcohol regulations remain the same as they have for decades — at the stroke of midnight at the end of the day Saturday, no store can sell any alcoholic beverages until midnight on Sunday.