Sept. 4, 2006

Cokato liquor petition short so far

By Lynda Jensen

A petition turned in to place strong liquor on the fall ballot for Cokato fell short of the required 200 signatures of registered voters, according to Wright County Auditor Bob Hiivala.

“A total of 247 signatures were presented,” Hiivala said. “and 152 were verified.”

Nevertheless, more signatures may be presented between now and the Friday Sept. 8 deadline, Hiivala said – although he cautioned that presenting a long list of signatures on the final day would be too hard for his office to accept and verify in a single day.

The staff at Cokato city hall did not have anything to do with verifying signatures or working with the petition in any way, reported Cokato Clerk Peg Carlson.

The petition was set into motion by resident Matt Stumpf, who asked the Cokato council to place the question on the ballot.

Previously, the council voted down placing the question on the ballot, however, the petition can do this despite the council’s action.

The petition contains verbiage for approval of both on and off sale strong liquor.

On-sale licenses pertain to restaurants or bars that serve liquor which is consumed on the premises. Off sale pertains to liquor stores that sell products which are carried out the door and consumed elsewhere.

Last time, a petition failed because there were several signatures of non-registered voters and a few other problems such as change of address, Carlson reported. Names will only count if they are on already the official list of registered voters.

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