Jimmie Stephens had hoped to leave Thursday’s meeting of the Jefferson County Commission with the county fully armed in its efforts to squelch illegal bingo in unincorporated Jefferson County.
Instead, the commission president left the meeting disappointed after the resolution failed on a 2-2 vote.
As in Tuesday’s committee meeting of the commission, Stephens would not discuss specifics of how the resolution would help the county crack down on bingo operations.
The resolution states only: “Therefore, be it resolved by the Jefferson County Commission that the resolution directing the County Attorney to pursue and initiate all legal actions.”
Stephens said the resolution called for no new ordinances to have been passed today. “It was the enforcement of the existing ordinances to be uniform and the enforcement of all of our zoning ordinances,” Stephens said after the meeting. Read more.
If it’s been said once, it’s been said a thousand times: Bingo is not legal in unincorporated Jefferson County.
Thursday’s Jefferson County Commission meeting could bring a new weapon in the county’s war against the activity. But Commission President Jimmie Stephens and County Attorney Theo Lawson are keeping their cards close to their vest following today’s commission committee meeting.
While the committee agenda included a proposed resolution regarding illegal bingo in unincorporated Jefferson County, Stephens said the resolution wasn’t precisely about bingo but about zoning enforcement.
However, the two would not tell other commissioners what exactly they’ll be asked to vote on Thursday, much to the chagrin of Commissioner Lashunda Scales, who wanted to know things like how much it would cost and who would be authorized to enforce it. Read more.
The Jefferson County Commission today denied a rezoning request for a private club in Corner, suspecting that the establishment would be used for bingo.
“The applicant wasn’t here but we kind of got a little birdie telling us that may be a bingo hall,” Commissioner Joe Knight said after the meeting. “We don’t want bingo halls. We’ve got plenty. We don’t need all the bingo halls where these cities are passing ordinances prohibiting them coming to the county.”
Knight said some may have viewed unincorporated Jefferson County as a gray area beyond the jurisdiction of cities that have expressly forbidden bingo businesses.
“We don’t want to be the gray area and we need to tighten that up a little bit with our ordinances as far as what we allow and what we do,” Knight said. Read more.
Bingo was the subject of a lengthy discussion this morning as members of the Jefferson County Commission met for their committee meeting.
Commissioner Lashunda Scales sought clarity on the county’s stance on bingo in general and electronic bingo machines that are being licensed for operation by a number of Jefferson County municipalities. Read more.