On Monday, the McPherson city commission voted to adopt an ordinance upholding a ban against Sunday liquor sales, smacking the ball firmly in the court of petitioners who want to change the city’s law.

City attorney Jeffrey Houston advised the commission they had several options to respond to a petition to allow Sunday sales of alcoholic beverages, and said that it was too late to put the issue on the ballot for the general election in November.

With the city’s adoption of the ordinance, a 60-day delay goes into effect, during which time a petition drive can be brought against it. The petition would need to be signed by five percent of the city’s residents who voted in this past presidential election in order to force a special election. Houston said the burden of proof is placed on those who want the law changed. 

They will need to show that enough McPherson city residents agree with them.

City Administrator Nick Gregory advised the commission that a special election would cost at least $16,000. 

Rhonda Pliler-Boydston, owner of Dottie’s Girls Wine and Spirits, said she was disappointed in the city commission’s decision.

“I’m not sure why they went that way,” Pliler-Boydston said.

Pliler-Boydston said it will take 287 signatures from McPherson’s residents to prompt a special election, giving citizens the opportunity to vote either for or against allowing Sunday sales within the city limits.

Pliler-Boydston, helped launch the recent push for Sunday liquor sales with a petition drive. This time, she said she plans to have the petition written by an attorney so that the intent is clear and the signatures can be verified.

“We’re in our third time around of getting signatures. People are going to get tired of having to sign these papers,” Pliler-Boydston said.

After the petition is drafted, it can be signed at Dottie’s Girls Wine and Spirits, 210 S. Centennial, and at Mead’s Retail Liquor, 1110 W. Kansas Ave.

“We’re not going to give up on the fight. We’re going to get our signatures that we need and go back up there,” said Pliler-Boydston’s daughter Amy Russell, who also works at her mother’s store. “...It was a little disheartening but here’s really nothing we can do about it.” 

Contact Patricia Middleton by email at pmiddleton@mcphersonsentinel.com or follow her stories on Twitter at @MacSentinel.