Monday, November 12, 2007

Amazing Clarity And Sense Regarding 2 AM Licenses

I have argued ad nauseam that this city's treatment of the '2 am vs midnight' bar issue is ridiculous, that bars should be able to stay open until 2 am if they behave properly, and that enforcement of existing laws (prohibition on urinating on flower pots, for example) is the issue that we should really be focusing on.

In anticipation of the upcoming vote on the issue, The Capital ran an article in Sunday's business section regarding this topic. The article didn't report anything that was new, at least as far as your's truly is concerned, save one apparent genius:

Newport, a historic waterfront town, faced a similar situation, said
Richard Sardella, owner of Sardella's Italian Restaurant and Newport mayor from 2000 to 2005.

Up until 1983, bars in Newport were allowed to stay open until 2 a.m.,
he said. In response to rowdiness late at night, city officials passed an
ordinance that rolled back bar hours from 2 a.m. to 1 a.m., he said.

He said the new rule resulted in a "mass exodus" of late-night customers who left Newport for surrounding towns, such as Middletown and Jamestown, where bars stayed open later.

"They would go half a mile down the road from me to bars that were open until 2 a.m.," he said.

To cut down on liquor violations for late-night drinkers, Mr. Sardella
said he ran for mayor on a platform of "zero tolerance." He instituted $500
fines for violations such as urinating in public and or having an open container
of alcohol on the street. Mr. Sardella said his efforts resulted in a dramatic
change in the number of violations issued.


I plan to make one more omnibus post--the 2 am magnum opus--that I predict will serve as the dissenting opinion on this issue for weeks, possibly even months to come.


15 year police veteran said...

You seem to be missing the point on this one. What police are going to institute your zero tolerance policy? There are no police to handle what we have going on. How about this… when the police department is more that 10% undermanned then the closing time reverts to 12 midnight. When the department has sufficient staffing then the bars stay open till 2 am! I would like to think that we would have a fully staffed police department in short order! I am afraid that in the alternative we will just have bars that close at midnight forever.

Brian Gill said...

On the contrary, I'm right with you on this one. The point that I've been trying to make is that the problems that people complain about regarding the bars have to do with enforcement, which of course means that we have enough manpower to enforce the laws, and not really on midnight vs 2 am.

Alderman Arnett says there are 16 people that passed the first round of background checks and are still involved in the hiring process, so hopefull that's true, and we'll see what happens.

Concerned Citizen said...

Re: 15 year Cop

The same police we already pay to work here. Annapolis has nearly 4 times the national average of police per citizen. Besides which the officers are plenty content to kick in doors and murder citizens for 1000 dollars worth of drugs (vastly exaggerated on top of it).

You are paid to serve us, and should we choose that you be helpful rather than get to dress up in black and terrorize us, you will. If you won't, you are no loss, and 2 year degrees are not hard to come by for the pay and power perks you enjoy.