Update on PB Town Council vote regarding Shore ClubJune 17, 2010 2 Comments
Reporting on the PB Town Council meeting last night: There were obviously many (i.e. estimated 25 minimum) new ‘members’ (in the strictest sense of the word) attending what looked like their first PB Town Council meeting. Coincidentally, where the issue of the Shore Club was on the agenda, many of these new ‘members’ said they were employees or staunch supporters of Shore Club. Since I, nor many of my friends I spoke with at the meeting, recognized any one of these people, and since we’re somewhat reasonable people, we concluded that perhaps these new ‘members’ joined to vote on the very issue that affects their employer or supporter.
Kind of like a bunch of tire-installers from a local factory showing up and joining a bingo hall club the week before the biggest event of the year – pretty obvious they’re there for the big prize (the tire smell gives them away) and most likely won’t be appearing over the next few years to the weekly service-opportunities the bingo club does year-round. Analogous to the monthly trash cleanups, river cleanups, fundraiser events, service opportunities, graffiti paint-outs… you know, the stuff the PB Town Council does every month – for over 50 years.
What’s especially interesting is this groups hesitance in having an actual Town Council vote – actually spending all this energy working against one – in light of the fact that we’re speaking about the safety and security of the very community they purport to care about by joining the Town Council. To me, they are not hearing the pleas of the community who, with 19 times the citywide average of alcohol arrests and citations (not including drunk tank drop-offs) in the core census tract alone, are simply pleading with these ‘caring, concerned and community-passionate’ businesses to minimize their footprint because it’s far past beyond injuring the community. Should we wait till we are 22, 25, 30, 40, 50 times the citywide average for crime before they support no expansions or some breakthrough change? My guess is they could care less about these concerns.
By the way, the standard for allowing new licenses in a census tract is the tract cannot have over 1.2 times the city wide average. Since we’re already 19 times over it seems logical to many of us to blow the whistle and ask for a one-year reprieve. Ideally enough time to review a conditional use permit for all alcohol licensees solution – or something very close. Not too unreasonable to me. But, I’m betting we’re only getting warmed up for a much more long-term fight – one that the multi-million dollar operations will fight strongly against. The levels of the state ABC enforcement are at record lows. So, why wouldn’t they fight any change. No one wants a tough babysitter now do they?
After the Shore Club crew lost the vote – by one vote no less – a supporter immediately made another motion, initially under my protest, that sought to have yet another meeting to weigh the issue where both sides would have equal time to present their case – which the general membership could then vote upon by mail ballot. i objected because to me it was their jockeying for another vote since they have now been voted against two times. So, the original motion-maker, Scott Chipman, agreed to give the business the chance to have this meeting with one stipulation – that only those that were members up to that moment were eligible to vote.
Of course everything was done messily as technically, the original motion was seconded, discussed, voted upon and passed – meaning the mail-in ballot should be sent out as stated. But, I’m not too tight-fisted either and I’d love to hear what the Shore Club has to say. Turns out there was an owner at the meeting but, he declined to talk at a couple of opportunities before the vote and in the public comment period after. Seems he’s big on the community but, isn’t passionate enough about his business to stand in front of a group of concerned citizens to say so. Conviction?
So, stay tuned. All this work and sour attitudes. If only the business district and alcohol licensees would just work with the community they might have an easier time. But, I guess it’s tough looking over all those piles of money to see the community in the first place.Alcohol Culture in PB, Alcohol Licensees, Alcoholic Bev Ctl (ABC), Bars and Restaurants, Business District, Commentary, CUP/DAO, Liquor Stores