Thursday, June 28, 2007

A Case for 2 a.m. Licenses

First and foremost, any and all references to 'bar wars' shall be banned from this site. As we all know, wars are far more profound than gin joints and a few aggrieved flower pots in Ward 1.

What the 'twelve o'clockers' argue:
A. Loud noise ruins quality of life
B. Debauchery ruins property
C. Business owners knew what they were getting in to

Right off the bat we can address point C. Yes, they knew what they getting in to. But, so did the residents. They knew that they were moving into the downtown area of a capital city, where people come, and have fun, and spend money, and (gasp!) drink alcohol. The fun that these people have makes more people want to come and live here, and that raises property value. Heck, even Madam Mayor Moyer announced that this is a 2 am drinking town.

Deep breath................(deeper, because we are not breathing in cigarette smoke anymore)...........okay. Points A and B are valid and correct. BUT, stay with me here, they are not automatic reasons to oppose the 2 am licenses. The city, when making this determination, must balance the needs of all citizens. Let's see this for what it is, folks. A certain group of highly motivated, highly organized individuals with a lot of resources opposes this bill. If a person is so drunk as to do the behaviors in question, they are not going to stumble to Admiral Heights--they are going to disrupt some streets in Ward 1.

Let's talk about the benefits of 2am licenses. #1 more money for the city. how? well, license holders will gladly pay a higher license fee to stay open longer. Believe you/me, they will make that money back. Furthermore, for those of you mathematically inclined: higher earning potential for property = higher property value = more money for city from property taxes.

(Intermission--Note do city: Do not spend this money. Cut the property tax and give this money back to us. We earned it, not you.)

(Intermission II--As a general principle, if you make it easier for businesses to make money, they will be more willing to make ivestments in their property and therefore the city. Example: build a parking garage on Board of Education Property downtown, therefore making it easier for people to go downtown and spend money, then the businesses downtown will contribute to installing sprinklers. thanks to AP friend Tim Hogan for this insight. okay, back to the reasons)

#2 better tourist draw. #3 jobs. many people who live in annapolis work downtown and would make more money, then spend more in the local economy, etc. in fact, i would be willing to bet that all of the people who oppose the 2 am bill have benefited from the services provided by someone with a 2 am job.

Question: Do the needs of the Ward 1 residents affected by inebriated idiots outweigh the needs of the residents of the OTHER 7 WARDS?

Answer: Negative.

Recommended Course of Action:
1. pass bill allowing all liquor licenses to go to 2am
2. enjoy more money from license fees and taxes
3. give some money back to the citizens and use the rest to put more police outside bars
4. have the police actually arrest the drunkards BEFORE they partake in destructive behavior in Ward 1, thereby making both sides happy
5. pass some sort of feel good resolution, perhaps naming an official annapolis favorite color
6. go on vacation for all of August