The seven members of the Wake County Board of Commissioners don't seem like the kind of people who party early and late. But save one holdout, James West, they all voted Monday to allow restaurants, bars, and country clubs in unincorporated parts of the county to start pouring whiskey, beer, and wine at ten a.m. on Sundays, instead of at noon.
The move only affected a handful of establishments, Commissioner Greg Ford said, but it also allowed the change at RDU eateries that serve alcohol.
Raleigh and other Wake municipalities had already voted to take advantage of the opportunity created when the General Assembly passed the so-called brunch bill. Governor Roy Cooper signed it June 30, and Raleigh voted to go along July 5.
West brought about a second reading on the issue with his nay vote on July 17
. After giving it a second thumbs down Monday, the former Raleigh city council member and veteran commissioner said, in effect, that the county shouldn't be selling its birthright for a pitcher of daiquiris.
"We need to keep the proper balance, the proper perspective," West said.
The way Wake County is perceived, as a low-key place for families, has helped drive population and growth here, he said. In addition, some people of faith among his constituency opposed the change as encroaching on more traditional Sunday activities.
"They're not very happy," he said. "They've got Sunday school going on at that hour."