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February 16, 2012

The License Commission Should Resign

by at 11:20 pm.

At the special City Council meeting, many good, some less so, ideas were offered. I can’t say as I would implement all of them, but surely more training of security, bartenders and waitstaff is in order. The establishments have to be the responsible ones in this equation. Of the punishments and controls we heard tonight, I think establishments should have a stepped tightening in what is expected from them. Run a responsible place? Smooth sailing. Become a problem? Get poked-prodded-railroaded. In that order.

The biggest disappointment tonight came from Commissioners Akasian and Weicker. Akasian effectively threw the LPD under the bus. He said that few complaints have been brought to the LC. The cops are the ones that bring the complaints for the LC to act on. No complaints, no action. I bet that is mostly correct, technically. But, I’d also bet that cops are stretched thin patroling the more shadowy areas of the city. Also, if they brought the heat, the bar owners would be screaming bloody murder. It’s no secret that the LC favors the bars owners. The cops are getting mixed signals and have real, bad guys to catch. The bars should tend to their own house. I prefer the cops outside my house. You’d think the bars owners would be bright enough to keep the cops out by running a tight ship.

Weicker went so far as to blame Beacon Hill lollygagging and jurisdiction squabbles for preventing the LC/City from coming up with real solutions. He said something else, but he’d lost me with the “Beacon Hill” meme. Maybe, if he blamed our delegation, I would have perked up. But, yawn, he used a generic scapegoat.

I think Gardner Stratton had the best suggestion tonight, by far. He did get the loudest applause tonight, too. He suggested all the members of the License Commission submit their resignations. Wipe the slate clean.

After listening to the two of them dodge, tonight, and we know well enough about Bayliss; it’s an easy call.

Besides. listening to Akasian and Weicker moan about the money they lose by lending a hand, you gotta figure they resent the job. They sounded, put out, by the role they volunteered for. Cut them some slack and take their resignations, Lowell.

For another take on tonight, please check Dick Howe’s blog.

PS. Isn’t Mickey O’Keefe available?

6 Responses to “The License Commission Should Resign”

  1. Magnolia Says:

    I only got to watch a pert of the meeting - but I defintely agree with what you said about the License Com. and the Police Dept. It’s not a question of no complaints = no action though. It’s that the LC constantly places complainmts “on file” and takes no action or issues a very minor Bayliss style lecture to the offending party. I would imagine that because of this the LPD feels that it will get no satisfaction from the LC.

  2. joe from Lowell Says:

    I don’t know if you were being sarcastic, but I think putting a former police officer on the commission is an excellent idea.

  3. Jack Says:

    @jfl Mission accomplished.

  4. kmarcin Says:

    Gardner made an excellent suggestion; one that many of us may have thought but would not have spoken.
    I think the second best speaker was Finbar Sheehan, owner of the Old Court. If every licensee was as responsible as he (and 95% of them are) we would not have needed to have this meeting.
    I am tired of certain people making this a resident vs. bar owner argument. Residents along with Chief Lavallee have been vocal about the esecalation in voilenece but this is a City of Lowell public safety issue. Leaders from other neighborhood groups attended because they are concerned about downtown robbing them of resources.
    I hope the city council follow through with measures that are reasonable and hold those that are irresponsible accountable for their business practices.

  5. Lynne Says:

    To be clear for the record, I have always thought this was a resident vs. License Commission thing. :)

  6. kmarcin Says:

    It is more like EVERYONE against the do Nothing License Commission. All the bars/restaurants are losing because they do nothing about the problem places this effects their business as much as it does residents.

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