Open Up for UP is Collecting Signatures

The organization working to make University Park wetter has launched their website, openupforup.com. On it, there are documents from a Highland Park ordinance used to support the organization’s claims that alcohol sales won’t affect public safety. Also posted is a list of places people can sign petitions in favor of alcohol sales. If the Open Up For UP gets enough signatures, they could get the issue on the Nov. 2 municipal ballot.

20 thoughts on “Open Up for UP is Collecting Signatures

  • April 29, 2010 at 12:29 pm
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    From the website, for folks at work that can’t open up all websites:

    Benefits for university park
    Sales Tax Benefits

    The antiquated laws that keep us dry are forcing citizens to drive outside the city limits to shop. That means less income for UP retail centers like Snider Plaza, Miracle Mile and Preston Center East and ultimately, higher taxes for UP citizens.

    By allowing the sale of beer and wine in our retail centers, University Park taxpayers can recover over $300,000 annually in sales tax revenue that we are currently giving away to the neighboring cities of Dallas and Highland Park.

    Our city already gives away millions through Robin Hood, and in a budget year with projected shortfalls, why wouldn’t we make every effort to recoup every tax dollar we can?

    Retail & Restaurant Benefits
    Restaurant owners in University Park are forced to operate under the private club system.
    According to the Texas Restaurant Association, complying with private club rules can cost restaurants between $10,000 and $20,000 per year in administrative and bureaucratic costs. This means higher costs for owners and patrons alike.
    For every $1 a grocery store loses in beer/wine sales, they lose an additional $3 in general sales. This can be as much as $25,000 to $150,000 per week in lost sales.
    It is time to unburden our city’s businesses and bring fairness back to UP consumers.

    Personal Privacy Benefits
    Mature Adults should not be required to hand over their drivers licenses to restaurant staff who then often leave to enter the information into a database. In this age of rampant identity theft, why should you be forced to give up your date of birth, home address and drivers license number to anyone? The unfair Private Club system requires that you divulge this information simply to enjoy a drink in UP restaurants. It’s time to stop this unfair and invasive practice.

    Statewide Safety
    According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, despite a rising population and an increasing number of wet areas in the state, the number of alcohol related fatalities has dramatically decreased by 30%, more than double the national average. This fact directly contradicts statements by opposition groups that more alcohol sales will result in more alcohol related traffic fatalities.

    Park Cities Safety
    In 2009 the Town of Highland Park granted a variance to Highland Park Village allowing that shopping center to continue selling alcohol in close proximity to Bradfield Elementary School. During their discussions, the town’s Public Safety Director testified that he was not aware of a single police issue related to the sale of alcohol within the Village. Paraphrasing the new Ordinance itself, the Town found that over the last 40 years there had not been one single instance of loitering, crime or breach of the peace on the school grounds that arose from the sale of alcohol in Highland Park Village.

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  • April 29, 2010 at 1:54 pm
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    I bet Hyer parents are taking this very seriously to make sure they have even better access to alcohol.

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  • April 29, 2010 at 2:06 pm
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    @kmom; This is a post that I made in response to Max Faqua’s post steering me to that site. Max Faqua is president of the UP Merchants Association and his business, Plaza Health Foods, is one of the underwriters of this campaign. One of the threads that has been ongoing in regards to this discussion can also be found here: http://www.parkcitiespeople.com/2010/04/26/which-is-more-family-oriented-a-semi-automatic-or-a-beer/

    “Under Benefits;

    Sales Tax Benefits: Your supposed sales tax benefit is an estimate and based on a study that I have already discussed. I fail to see how handing over “$300K” to the city without concomitant agreements to reduce taxes in other areas is a benefit. All it does is give the city more money to not get things right in the first place if you know what I am talking about.

    Retail and Restaurant Benefits: Every restaurant and retail business in this city opened up with a complete understanding of the rules. These rules are not new and have not been “forced” on them. You are creating straw man with your argument.

    Personal Privacy Benefits: Thanks for insulting the waiters and waitresses of our retail establishments. I am sure they appreciate your trust. People who have an issue with handing over their DL should carry their Club card with them. [ADDENDUM: You will still have to turn over a credit card to your server in order to pay for your meal…are you not afraid of ID theft from that?] Another straw man.

    Under Resources:

    I can see that HP stats can carry some weight since they are a township similar in size and population. However, UP can’t claim some of the same facts that HP can. There is a least one instance of a citation given, in the last year, to a mom picking up her kids while in her cups. As Merritt has pointed out on this very blog, that the 2 martini lunch is kind of common at Sevy’s. Do I think that changing the law to allow the free flow of alcohol in UP is going to cause an increase in alcohol-related offenses? I don’t know.

    My point is that everyone has bought into the system we have now and I need more reasons to change then what you are bringing to the table.

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  • April 29, 2010 at 5:03 pm
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    Let’s see – UP residents can drive all the way to the Village or all the way across Preston to Preston Center west to buy alcohol. Tell me again why UP can’t be wet? Is keeping it out of the Snider Plaza and Preston Center east Tom Thumbs really keeping us safer?

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  • April 29, 2010 at 5:19 pm
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    Old man river,

    Do you honestly, not in some deranged “please think of the children!” wet dream, but honestly, think that the lack of alcohol in retail UP stores does ANYTHING to the incidence of alcohol related offenses? It’s not like all of Dallas is dry and you’d have to drive to Oklahoma to buy beer. No one sits at home and says to themselves, “hey self, i’d really like to grab a bottle of wine, but I don’t want to drive 7 minutes to HPV, or the 7-11 at Hillcrest and NWH.” They are buying it anyway! It is 100% a question of convenience and the destination of one’s dollars. The money will be spent and the booze will be in UP, it’s only a matter of the zip code on the receipt. There isn’t an underground citizenry who have never purchased retail alcohol, but now, all of the sudden, they are going to go booze crazy because the distance to point of sale has gone from 3 miles to 1 mile. Get over yourself. The war is over. Markets are free (though apparently not).

    Oh and.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qh2sWSVRrmo

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  • April 29, 2010 at 6:19 pm
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    James, My name is spelled Fuqua and my business Plaza Health Foods is not underwriting this campaign.

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  • April 29, 2010 at 6:55 pm
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    @maggie, matt,

    Keep up with the conversation, read what has already been written and then post. Matt, I know your smart and you’re good at reading between the lines. Why don’t you do it now. It may not change your vote, but you won’t have the wool pulled over your eyes when you do it.

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  • April 29, 2010 at 7:18 pm
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    Max, Sorry about the spelling of your name. And I apologize for using the word underwriting because that may not quite convey your rockstar status when it comes to this issue. Lets see what we have on the table so far

    From Merritt at this Link:

    http://www.parkcitiespeople.com/2010/04/23/beer-and-wine-university-park-the-battle-has-begun/#comments

    “The University Park Merchants Association, led by my hero Max Fuqua, wants residents to be able to pick up some vino or grab a six pack within the city limits. They’ve officially declared game-on with an application to petition voters for an election that would make the sale of beer and wine for off-premise consumption legal. Oh. Yeah.

    Max, you are Ren McCormack. And something tells me you should get your speech ready. I’ll make arrangements for your grand entrance.”

    I’m not sure how I feel about you not disclosing to Merritt that you’re also pushing for a removal of the private club policies. But hey, nobody in government or in the lobbying industry gives us the whole truth anyway. We shouldn’t expect it.

    I will direct people to the website you encouraged me to visit: http://www.openupforup.com/ in which your business is one the establishments that is hosting the petition. I encourage people to read the info in this website. I think it is very informative.

    Another site you directed me to was the site of the Perryman group, whose study you have cited. It is located here: http://texaspetitionstrategies.com/Perryman.html I think this site is less informative for the reasons I’ve state before.

    Once again I apologize for using the word “underwriting”. Maybe spearheading would have been a better choice.

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  • April 29, 2010 at 9:15 pm
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    Ditto matt, as usual. I signed both petitions across the street from UP city hall yesterday afternoon.

    @James Tucker – Thanks for setting out all the anti-alcohol sale arguments so far in advance of the election. Having read through all your comments over the last few days, I am now confident that there is no rational or substantive reason to oppose beer and wine sales in UP. For a while, I thought I was missing something.

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  • April 29, 2010 at 10:34 pm
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    Without support for this petition, we’ll soon be an island in the middle of the entire DFW Metroplex taking our tax dollars outside of University Park to support other local economies. Gone should be the days of “membership” in restaurants for resposible adults to order a drink or for not being able to pick up a bottle of wine for dinner with your wife from your local grocery store. I’m lending my support to this initiative to keep tax dollars here in UP to continue to support our community.

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  • April 29, 2010 at 11:17 pm
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    @Neal;

    Your like Adam eating the apple that Eve handed to him. Hope it tastes as good as you think it will.

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  • April 30, 2010 at 9:18 am
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    James, Since you posted the link yourself, you should know that the website belongs to Texas Petition Strategies, not the Perryman Group. Also please don’t lump me in with your so-called untruthful government/lobbying industry crowd. I did inform Merritt that we want to end the private club system and she chose not to report that part of the story. I’ll be around if you need any additional help with this.

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  • April 30, 2010 at 9:33 am
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    James Tucker, why don’t we discuss this issue further over a couple of beers?

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  • April 30, 2010 at 10:40 am
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    @Gagree;

    I don’t drink anymore. However we can go to Max’s and I’ll have a grapefruit izzy.

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  • May 1, 2010 at 12:54 pm
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    Can someone tell me why the petition doesn’t include the retail sale of take away liquor? Smells like somebody thinks you can be half pregnant. Is it a more difficult petition or vote or something?

    How is selling gin (and tonic) any worse than selling beer and wine. Doesn’t not selling liquor defeat the whole convenience and losing tax dollar argument? Illogical, illogical, can’t compute.

    Maybe I just like to get drunk quicker than the rest of you.

    Of course, there is absolutely no reason we shouldn’t do away with unicard.

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  • May 1, 2010 at 5:09 pm
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    @UP Lush,

    You’ll have to touch base with Kmom, Maggie, Max, Neal, Chris, Gagree, PurdueResident, bdad, and especially Grump. They are all for beer and wine sales, but I’m not sure about their take on liquor sales.

    Can anybody say “Slippery Slope”?

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  • May 3, 2010 at 7:15 pm
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    Yup, good point James. As we all know, beer leads to a margaritas, and margaritas lead to crack cocaine. It’s a real slippery slope…

    @Lush — I don’t know the full legal details, but I believe that the TABC makes the distinction on wine/beer versus liquor in these laws. Not that all those laws aren’t stupid also, but they aren’t in UP’s control. The important thing is for UP to equalize its laws with neighboring areas so that our businesses are competing on a level playing field.

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  • May 3, 2010 at 9:11 pm
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    There is your slippery slope @Purdue; are we going to equalize our laws with the neighbor to the south which would allow for beer and wine. Or are we going to equalize our laws with the neighbor to our north, east and west which would allow for package liquor sales?

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  • May 3, 2010 at 9:53 pm
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    Are you telling me the Centennial around the corner from Tom Thumb in HPV does not sell liquor? At least half of UP is closer to that than to any other retail area.

    First those snobby HPers turn their noses up at us UPers and now they’re stealing our sales tax – what’s next, they going to claim our high school?

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