Byram takes one more step toward public vote on BYOB

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:12

    BYRAM - Byram residents may soon have the opportunity to decide whether they want to continue the ban on bringing liquor into non-licensed restaurants. The practice has been illegal in Byram for the past 20 years, however, the issue has been revisited numerous times since a push last year to lift the prohibition. At Tuesday night's council meeting, local resident Roy McDonald, who wants the ban lifted, said that he has collected 600 signatures in an attempt to force the issue onto the November ballot. However, he was informed that the manner in which the signatures were collected - with no witnesses - made them invalid for the purpose of forcing the municipality to include the question on the ballot. The township's attorney informed the members of the council that they have the power to place the BYOB issue on the ballot if they wish. The council and mayor will discuss whether they would take such action at the next township meeting. In the past, all four township council members and Mayor Eskil Danielson have stated that they have no problem putting the highly controversial issue up for a public vote in November. The council was scheduled Tuesday night to vote on an ordinance dealing with the enforcement of the current law. Because of the events that unfolded, that proposal was tabled. The amendment would have required that non-liquor licensed restaurants post signs informing the public that BYOB is not allowed, and would also make restaurant owners liable for anyone who brings alcohol into their establishments. Concilwoman Donna Griff was the only member who did not approve the tabling. "What you're saying is, we have a law on the books, and we are not even trying to enforce it," said Griff.