Council members were divided on the law change during a first reading and it was not approved to go forward for a final vote at the June 28 meeting.
Councilman Ben Burnett left the chambers for the entire discussion and vote to avoid any conflict of interest, he said. Will is running for Burnett’s seat in Post 2, but Burnett has said he is not running for reelection.
Some council members who voted in opposition complained that they weren’t given enough time beforehand to research the issue. Before his opposing vote, Councilman Jason Binder said the ordinance change didn’t go far enough to include employees and their spouses.
Councilman Donald Mitchell voted against the update to the law but added that he and Thomas agreed prior to the meeting that the problem is a potential lawsuit for the city.
Thomas, the city attorney, did not return calls or an email from The Atlanta Journal Constitution on whether there’s a continued effort to change the ordinance.
Assistant City Administrator James Drinkard told the AJC that the city charter, which has no criteria for officials holding an alcoholic beverage license, supersedes the city ordinance.
Will said he is moving ahead with his run for City Council. The candidate owns Cantina Loca, Central City Tavern and Tavern House in Alpharetta.
“We are running,” he said. “Our position is the ordinance is unlawful and unenforceable. We will deal with issues as they come up.”