At last night’s Gillette City Council meeting, the council had its third and final reading of an ordinance to establish hours of operation for liquor licenses. Those who did not want to see more availability of liquor on Sundays in Gillette turned out for the debate, as well as those on the other side of the argument, such as local business owner Bruce Kelly, who argued for less government interference in local business.
“I’m for this. You know what I am is pro-business, and I’m for a little bit of less government. The rules have been on the books for years, the rest of the state has a advantage over us and other people as far as the hours that are considered for business”
Before the council took its third and final vote, council members had their say to the public. City Councilman Ted Jerred said he didn’t appreciate the issue being shaped as a religious one. Jerred said it was not a religious issue, but a business issue, and the local rules were simply being adjusted to match state law.
Citizen Scott Klem, who has been very vocal in opposition to the ordinance change, said those opposed to more availability of liquor on Sundays have not focused on the religious aspect. They focused on public safety.
“We didn’t frame this as a religious issue, especially tonight; I tried to reiterate that this is a safety issue.”
After all sides had their say, the council voted 6 to 1 on the third and final reading to make the ordinance change and broaden the hours of operation on Sundays. Only City Councilman Robin Kuntz voted ‘no’ on all three readings.
The only other vote of "no", during previous readings came from Councilman Forrest Rothleutner during the second reading of the ordinance. Here Rothleutner explains his changes in votes.