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No recount for Lakeside liquor vote

Anyone thinking about gathering up the 25 signatures needed to petition for a recount of last week's Lakeside-Lester Park liquor vote, can considerthis: The referendum was advisory.

Anyone thinking about gathering up the 25 signatures needed to petition for a recount of last week's Lakeside-Lester Park liquor vote, can considerthis: The referendum was advisory.

No matter which way voters would have fallen, the Duluth City Council still would have had to ask the Minnesota Legislature to overturn the 115-year ban on alcohol sales in Duluth's far-eastern neighborhoods. And state lawmakers still would have had to vote to overturn the law.

Voters favored continuing the ban by the slimmest of margins: 2,858 to 2,857. Even if a recount reversed the outcome, a several-vote victory either way hardly could be interpreted by any elected leader as a mandate from the people.

Completing a recount costs money and City Hall staff time, neither of which the cash-strapped city of Duluth can spare. Times are so financially challenging in Duluth that on Monday, to save money, city offices were closed for the first of four unpaid days off for employees.

So no matter how thirsty anyone in Duluth may be for a liquor store or a tavern in Lakeside-Lester Park, they can spare the city and their fellow taxpayers a burden by tearing up their recount petition. A new outcome wouldn't mean a new result.

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The Nov. 18 deadline for petitions should come and go as quietly as the sweep-up that follows last call.

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