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[Update] Murray Mayoral Debate: Bill Wells v Jack Rose

Terry Little

Update: Listen to our broadcast of the Murray Mayoral debate, edited for time:

Murray’s mayoral candidates race say they would continue the city’s current policy of prohibiting Sunday alcohol sales. 

Former Murray State Faculty Regent Jack Rose and incumbent mayor Bill Wells met Tuesday morning to debate subjects ranging from revitalizing downtown Murray and facilitating business to the proposed Parks Referendum and a city payroll tax. 

But both candidates agreed on whether or not to lift Murray's “no liquor sales on Sunday” rule. Wells says there’s no problem to fix in the current policy.

“I think what we got right now is fair and the 12 o’clock shutdown time is good and I think that the DUIs were interesting because some people thought once it’s passed, our DUIs are going to double. They didn’t. But we have more patrolmen and patrolwomen taking care of that now. The bottom line is I really don’t see Sunday sales happening in the near future.”

Rose agrees but says he would be open to looking at Sunday sales if it went before the city council further down the line.

”I don’t think that there’s been the havoc created by what we’re doing now that a lot of people had anticipated, I think it’s running smoothly and I think it’s something that I would look at for another year or two and I think that if the council decides they want to discuss it, as far as I’m concerned we can put it on as an agenda item and see where people stand, but at this point I don’t think it’s a good idea.” 

Both candidates say Murray is on the upswing for welcoming new businesses and that the city needs further incentives for drawing further investments.

Rose says he’s open to any idea but that new taxes aren’t the way. 

“We have to have the resources to do it, I think that most of you know, that I’m not for increasing taxes," said Rose. "I’m for increasing the tax base by bringing in new business and industry and growth in the residential areas so therefore I’m not opposed to the growth end. But if it makes sense and we can afford it and we do not raise taxes, I’ll be there, all the way, and I think there are ways to accomplish that.” 

Wells says that he’ll also oppose new taxes but says the city should petition the state for further incentive grants.

“I think there are some incentives we can look at and again, being on the Kentucky League of Cites Board and meeting up in Frankfort on both sides of the aisle, I’m glad to say that many are my friends that are up there and we do have an inside track," said Wells. "The governor, as you well know, has been here. Obviously he’s always welcome here and having that type of positive relationship only helps when it comes to state grants and funds.”

The debate, hosted by the Chamber of Commerce and the Murray-Calloway County Hospital, was held at Murray State’s CFSB Center. The candidates face off in the non-partisan election November 4th. 

You can listen to the full debate this Friday at noon on WKMS 91.3 

Rob Canning - Murray Mayoral Debate - NPR One

Rob Canning is a native of Murray, KY, a 2015 TV Production grad of Murray State. At MSU, he served as team captain of the Murray State Rowing Club. Rob's goal is to become a screenwriter, film director or producer and looks to the likes of Quentin Tarantino and Guy Ritchie for inspiration. He appreciates good music, mainly favoring British rock n' roll, and approves of anything with Jack White's name on it. When not studying, rowing or writing, Rob enjoys spending his free time with a book or guitar.
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