Monday, June 16, 2008

Many Liquor Licenses Still Unresolved

A recurring theme in Plaintalker posts is the struggle to deal with city liquor licenses. Many agree there are too many for the size of the city and the volume produces more problems than neighborhoods can contend with.

Click here for a very early Plaintalker post on the main issues.

While the weight of liquor license decisions tends to favor those who own the very pricey licenses, City Council members said Monday they want more evidence that license holders are living up to requirements.

After resident and business owner Flor Gonzalez raised issues Monday (June 16, 2008) about the responsibilities of bar owners to clients, council members asked for greater proof of enforcement.

Gonzalez cited the case of a 19-year-old accident victim for whom she is now seeking contributions for funeral expenses. Gonzalez said he had been incarcerated for being in a bar fight. She called for a study on underage sales and other infractions, saying she wanted to make liquor license holders "100 percent responsible" for consequences to victims.

City Administrator Marc Dashield said every license renewal is subject to scrutiny both by police and health officials. He also noted that a new city police initiative is directed to enforcement of liquor establishment rules.

Several council members said they feel more must be done to step up liquor license enforcement, especially because the city has more than its fair share of venues.

Due to the number of unresolved cases, the council will have to set a special meeting before June 30, but no date was announced Monday.

--Bernice Paglia


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