Bellevue’s second attempt at an alcohol referendum this May was the subject of an article in the Post Gazette today. In the article published in today’s paper, A Better Bellevue core leader, Liberty in Bellevue founder, and current Bellevue Council candidate, Tom Fodi, was interviewed at length, along with other prominent business owners, residents, and leaders in the Bellevue community.
Mr. Fodi, a pastor of The Hills Church in the South Hills and the owner of Dignity Home Care Professionals of Green Tree, believes that the economic market will allow things to unfold as they should: The voices of 8,000 or so residents will encourage entrepreneurs to bring to the borough reputable restaurants that will serve to bolster the town as a destination for both locals and those who live outside the limits.
“We know that people enjoy wine or beer with dinner, going out and having a good time. Now, you can’t have wine with dinner unless you bring [a bottle] with you [to a restaurant],” he said. “Being able to obtain a liquor license is an incentive for restaurants to come to town and that could contribute to a domino effect. This is all about economics.”
Aware that coming out in support of the alcohol referendum could hurt him in the polls in his bid to replace long time Bellevue Councilman, Jim Scisciani, Fodi wrote on his campaign Facebook page:
I’ve been told I shouldn’t publicly express my support for the Bellevue alcohol referendum, I’ve been told that I should just let it play out and be like some current politicians who like to play the fence, never taking a side.
Well, I guess that just makes me a bad politician, I can’t hide behind a shroud of mystery and play politics by not taking a position on something that stands to dramatically improve our community. I fully understand the concerns of those who are currently against this potential change. Anything worth doing comes with risk. However, after months of research and digging, I firmly believe the pros out weigh the cons in support of ending the dry laws in Bellevue.
Coming out publicly in support of the referendum may cost me some votes in November. I understand that. But, I simply cannot honestly represent and serve the people of Bellevue by acting like many of our current representatives who refuse to get involved on one side or the other out of fear of reprisal. That is not leadership. It’s simply cowardly and dishonest politics. If nothing else, I am painfully honest. I am an open book. You never have to guess my opinion on matters as I will tell you plainly after a thorough amount of research and consideration of both sides.
In other referendum related news, though he claims to be sympathetic to the referendum vote and stated explicitly during the 2013 election cycle debate that he supports the move (after being firmly against it in 2011), last week Bellevue Mayor Paul Cusick reportedly threatened a legal battle to have the referendum forcibly removed from the ballot due to what he claimed to be a significant number of questionable signatures. On the final day allotted for such a challenge, Mayor Cusick unexpectedly chose to drop the suit and decided not to threaten the right of the people of Bellevue to cast their vote on the matter. For the record, Liberty in Bellevue and members of A Better Bellevue have not yet been able to independently corroborate Mayor Cusick’s claims.
To read more of today’s article in the Post Gazette click here.