At Week’s End for March 9, 2012

Jeff Doty, the new owner of Cal-City Grocery, announced yesterday that he was moving forward with his plans to re-open the store in the very near future.

“I am not here to start trouble” said Doty.  “I am here to open a legitimate business.”

Reiterating his point that he felt that the February 11, 2012 Board of Aldermen meeting was conducted improperly and that the vote was, therefore, void, Doty is planning to move forward.

During a tour of the building, Doty explained his plan to be a family-oriented business that would serve food and other day-to-day items, not just cold beer.

“I don’t want to start a war. I want to get along with everyone” Doty explained. “But, I have a valid beer permit and I am going to open my business. It is that simple.”

Cal-City Grocery has been in existence since 1973.  During that time, it had been allowed to function freely, and has served cold beer since its inception. Additionally, it was given a “grandfather clause” exemption  in 1982, when the Town of Caledonia made provisions that alcohol could not be sold within 1,500 feet of a church.

At the February 11 meeting, Cal-City lost its right to sell beer. The vote was three-to-two, with only Aldermen Quinn Parham and Mike Savage voting “yes” to continue the “grandfather clause” for Cal-City.  Shortly after the meeting, the vote was met with shock, as many individuals close to the situation were advised that Alderman Bill Darnell had changed his mind, after supporting the Cal-City request in private session.

The meeting, in general, has come under great scrutiny.  And, at the March 6th Town Hall meeting, Doty and Attorney Steve Wallace, who represents the Pearrow estate, made a passionate plea to the board to reverse its decision, based on their contention that the meeting was held illegally.

The major concerns brought before the Aldermen were that the involved parties felt that the board had acted improperly in the February 11 meeting, and that the Aldermen had inadvertently voted to allow Cal-City to keep its “grandfather” status.   Also, Wallace was adamant that there was no legal precedent or Attorney General’s opinion that confirmed Board Attorney Jeff Smith’s belief that a business being closed for 24 hours was a legitimate reason for stripping it of its “grandfather” status.

The Aldermen listened to the plea and the accusations, but did nothing.  No motion was made to discuss the situation, and the controversy died with a whimper.

During yesterday’s visit, Doty remained strong in his belief. He hung posters announcing the business would be re-opened.  Alongside the posters, he hung a copy of his beer permit.  He is completely committed to re-opening the business.  He is already contacting vendors to stock the store.

They will be more news about this adventure in the coming months.

Joseph B. St. John

A/K/A Mr. MoJo Rising

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2 Comments on “At Week’s End for March 9, 2012”

  1. charles divel Says:

    More power to him. You can fight city hall.

    Reply

  2. howard Says:

    Poor old George – and they elected him “twice” ??????

    Reply

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