North Carolina county reverses course, ends coke machine ban
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A county in North Carolina has reversed its decision in May to ban coke machines from county property, a move made in response to criticism by the company's CEO of the new voting law in Georgia signed by Republican Gov. Brian KempBrian KempNorth Carolina county reverses course, ends coke machine ban MLB All-Star game to stay in Denver, judge rules MLB calls lawsuit over All-Star Game 'political theatrics' MORE.

County commissioners in Surry County had voted to take 12 coke machines off its property, but faced a backlash after it became known that the machines in the county building were owned by an independent bottling company, Coca-Cola Consolidated, the Charlotte Observer reported.

That company complained, saying the move by county commissioners would end up hurting the local firm and its employees. 

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“I’m here tonight because the commission has made a decision that directly impacts our business and the livelihood of the 37 employees and their families that work here in Surry County,” Alison Patient, vice president of government affairs at the company, said at Monday’s county meeting. “We’re respectfully asking that you reconsider your actions.”

Several residents also expressed criticism of the decision.

“Quite frankly, if you sit on the Board of Commissioners for Surry County and you would refuse any company to bring economic development to our county, you are a moron,” resident West Caudle said, the Observer reported.

The decision was reversed at the end of the meeting in a 4 to 2 vote with two commissioners sticking by their initial decision to ban the coke machines.

“I am holding my ground because I feel like that’s the right thing for me to do,” Commissioner Van Tucker said. “I was trying to send a message to the flagship Coca-Cola and if there were some casualties beneath, sorry about that.”