CLEARFIELD – Bradford Township will remain a “dry” municipality for now, and voters will not yet be asked to decide if alcohol should be offered for sale.
The county’s Election Office recently received a petition requesting a referendum question be placed on the May ballot asking voters if they favored the granting of liquor licenses for sale in the township.
The petition was denied due to its deficiencies during a special Election Board meeting Tuesday. The board is comprised of the three county commissioners.
Prior to the board’s decision, Election Director Dawn Graham indicated the petition listed 161 names.
However, Solicitor Kim Kesner explained that the requirement was for a petition to have at least 25 percent of the highest vote cast for any office in the municipality in the last preceding general election.
Graham said this would have been the last general – or presidential – election in November of 2016. She said the highest voting count went to U.S. Rep Glenn Thompson, who had 1,061 combined from the Woodland and Bigler precincts.
Kesner said the petition was deficient because it didn’t have 265 signatures from registered voters. He also noted that some names were printed and others didn’t include residential information.
Dave Panasiti, owner of Gio’s Food & Fuel in Woodland, circulated the petition. He said while some residents probably wouldn’t like alcohol out there, most – or 80 percent – probably do.
He said many residents don’t like traveling all the way into Philipsburg or Clearfield, adding that “it’s a growing area.”
Panasiti said he’s been in Woodland for the past 27 years, and he’d really like to leave behind a restaurant. Ideally, he’d like to model one after a steakhouse, where patrons could enjoy a beer with their rack of ribs.
Panasiti said he’s circulated a petition twice now and is only trying to give the county a restaurant that would bring a sense of pride.
Commissioner John A. Sobel, chair, asked if action was necessary since the petition was deficient. Kesner said the board still needed to deny or direct the Election Office in the matter.
The board proceeded and denied the petition. However, Commissioner Mark B. McCracken encouraged Panasiti to try again, saying he supported his effort.