Thursday, February 16, 2012

Mayor level meeting today over ABRA/Mood situation

My understanding is that there will be a meeting today in the Mayor's office to discuss ABRA, Mood Lounge, etc.  I am hoping that they will address why an entire community has to spend a year fighting a bad actor with a process that takes many months to adjudicate complaints.  The system is clearly stacked to ensure the revenue operation stays in service (with actions that impede revenue operations being turned around in days or weeks) while local citizens whose lives are made miserable by the behavior have to go through a slow moving process that takes months if not years to get any action.  The ABRA process is stacked against getting any action and seems to have been designed to wear out local residents (and I should note local businesses too who have suffered from the bad behavior).

Finally that is compounded by the ABRA Board, who for the most part, don't seem to understand what it is like to live in an urban environment especially this one where their liquor laws have allowed a night club to operate immediately adjacent to a residential community.

I read the findings on the Bar over at 5th and Florida who opened without a liquor license and the owners were found unsuited to have a license so they had to start all over with a new business owner.  I believe ABRA's position here, while very strict, were appropriate.  I have also read the official findings by the police and the ABRA board (so far) and I must say if the same standards were applied Mood Lounge would be similarly found unsuited to possess a liquor license.  Maybe they feel more freedom to take action before a business is officially open.  All I can say is that anyone who read the police report would immediately conclude that this is not a business who should possess a liquor license.  Mood and other's are celebrating their license renewal as a finding of "not guilty" but that is not the case.  As I read the ABRA report they were found "guilty" of the offenses but ABRA did not assess the violations to require the loss of license (and gave them considerable direction and homework to do if they wanted to keep the license).

Hopefully that is what will be discussed today and James "Freddy" Bulger, the Ward 2 Constituent Service Liaison for the Mayor, is planning to come to the meeting tonight and give a report on what happened.

One more entry to come in preparation for the 926 N Street discussion tonight.

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