The Cullman City Council has a plateful of issues to consider with the vote of the people to legalize the sale of alcoholic beverages.

Where to sell? Who can sell? How soon will alcohol be available to the public?

But those questions and more are typical in a community that has practice prohibition longer than most people can remember. But fear and consternation are not necessary. The majority has spoken in a clear voice at the polls.

Nevertheless, there is more that needs to be learned from the citizens of Cullman. Plenty of ordinances exist in the region that may provide reasonable guidelines for the mayor and city council to follow. However, it is important to gain more input from the public at this time.

The city council should initiate a series of public forums or hearings to allow citizens to speak further about their desires for the city. Some may want to see plans that would allow the downtown business district to become a greater attraction for visitors with arts and entertainment. Others may want to see the establishment of a resort hotel that increases the convention and tourism trade.

And still others may want to hear assurances that Cullman will maintain its charm and attraction for families. The truth is that Cullman has much to capitalize upon with its existing strengths and its newly created potential. The vote of Nov. 2 proved that Cullman cannot be placed in a finite landscape. People are asking for some changes, and that started with the referendum.

And it should be taken into consideration by the city’s leaders, the chamber of commerce and anyone charged with promoting the welfare of Cullman, that Nov. 2 is about a lot more than being able to legally purchase alcohol. The doors are open for some creative minds to get to work with planning and marketing that will strengthen Cullman’s future. This is why public input is so important at this pivotal moment in the city’s existence. Passing an ordinance that respects the diverse points of view in Cullman should not be too difficult. Keeping the door open for the public and moving ahead with measured growth is the challenge.

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