Mon. Sep 25th, 2023

In regards to the proposal for the Magnolia Square Entertainment District.

I am from Magnolia. I went to school in Magnolia. I married in Magnolia and became a member of Central Baptist church in 1963. We moved away from Magnolia for about 30 years, then moved “home” to Magnolia. In no way do I wish to stunt the “growth” of Magnolia. However, this same promise of “growth” was promised when the lottery was brought in and also when you voted for Columbia County to become a “wet county” and liquor stores were opened all over town. Yet growth did not happen.

I am not opposed to anyone having a social drink in their home and/or in a restaurant. We all have a choice. I resent people calling the Magnolia Communicator Facebook page a “gossip” page, as we all have a right to our beliefs and what we feel is best for our children, the younger generation that will soon take our place and your place.

We see crime, drugs and human trafficking every day “growing” in our city. Per an Internet search I found the following:

“With a crime rate of 38 per one thousand residents, Magnolia has one of the highest crime rates in America compared to all communities of all sizes — from the smallest towns to the very largest cities. One’s chance of

becoming a victim of either violent or property crime here is one in 26.”

Having come from a broken family, broken because of alcohol, I know firsthand that alcohol destroys families. And when a family is broken, children can become broken. We see this in the upcoming generation, from Magnolia, AR to Washington D.C. and it breaks my heart for our children and grandchildren.

As a member of Central Baptist Church, I resent that the city, my city, would allow public drinking of alcohol beverages to come out the “back door” of a restaurant and into the same area of a child care facility. This is the “back door” that I was told would never happen. Calling no names, I believe your words were, “This will never happen. The brick wall would collapse if they put a hole in it.”

And yet, the door is already there. Children are dropped off at Central Baptist Church in this area and they are picked up in this area. Their play area is in this same area.

We have heard repeatedly the “designated times” which such alcohol sales and activities “will be allowed.” However we know this is subject to change as per the few inserted words in said ordinance, “or as otherwise allowed pursuant to an approved special event” Sec. 16-21 (b) (1).

Central Baptist Church, as do other churches in the city, has activities and/or services on times other than Sunday morning. Is this really the legacy we want to begin, and leave, for the next generation and is it really the way we wish to grow Magnolia.

I respectfully ask the Magnolia City Council to vote no to the proposal for the Entertainment District.

Carla Horne


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