The first item on the agenda of the Creek County Commissioners Monday morning meeting was a request by local entrepreneur, Nat LeMaster, owner of Liquor Mart in Sapulpa. He asked the commissioners to allow “Liquor Sales on Sunday” to be put on the ballot for county voters to decide if this is something they want. Currently, all outlets that sell high-point beer and wine, including QuikTrip and Walmart are open on Sunday and legally sell these alcoholic beverages any time they are open. A Liquor Store, which sells high-point beer, wine, and hard liquor cannot legally be open on Sundays. LeMaster said this puts him at a “disadvantage.” This new law has decreased his business by at least 10 percent. He also said that he had to install about $200,000 worth of coolers, shelving, signage, and other infrastructure in his store to “stay competitive.” He said this is an expenditure he will never recoup.
LeMaster said the Sunday Sales question will be on the March 3rd, 2020, ballot in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Cleveland Counties. It would benefit him and his customers if it was on Creek County’s ballot as well.
What concerns him is that customers “change their shopping patterns” based on convenience, and if Creek County doesn’t pass it, his customers only have to drive down Highway 117 to the liquor store near to Walmart in Glenpool (Tulsa County) for their hard liquor.
LeMaster is interested in having it on the ballot, and the deadline for the March (Presidential Primary) ballot was December 18th. He requested that day because of the larger voter turnout expected.
When asked why there was a Sunday Closing law in the first place, LeMaster said that it was part of the Prohibition Era and that the Southern Baptist Convention interfered with the government.
When it was suggested that there were also elections in June, August, and November, Le Master responded that his customers would have changed their pattern by then.
Then, LeMaster asked, “You guys mind phone calls?” and Commissioner Newt Stephens suggested email would be easier.
Melanie Holmes, manager of a liquor store in Bristow, agreed that they would lose a lot of sales if the question was not on the ballot when Tulsa voted on it.
Meanwhile, the commissioners tabled the request until next Monday, December 16th, until they could do some research. Anyone with an opinion on this matter is invited to email your commissioner and express yourself at firstname.lastname@example.org for District 1 (Sapulpa, Kiefer, Mounds) email@example.com for District 2 (Mannford, Drumright, Shamrock), and firstname.lastname@example.org for District 3 (Kellyville, Bristow, Depew).
LeMaster has posted a Facebook questionnaire also.