Monday, January 14, 2008

i made the news.

Some St. Charles Bar Owners Have Issues With New Ordinance
Created: 1/14/2008 11:08:30 PM
Last updated: 1/14/2008 11:25:02 PM

By Alex Fees

(KSDK) - At a St. Charles City Council public input session, Monday afternoon, council members made opening statements regarding proposed Bill 9527, which would regulate behavior such as drinking contests, table dancing, and obscenity.

Mayor Patricia York said after the measure was made public, last week, city officials began surveying similar ordinances in other "college towns." York said city officials are trying to curb two main problems.

"Number 1 is under-age drinking," said York. "I don't think anybody in this room is going to argue that we want to be known as a town that lets under-age drinking go on, on a regular basis. And drinking to excess."

Council member Larry Muench said, "We do want to keep St. Charles a very safe and secure place. But yet, we do want our businesses to operate and make money."

City Council member Laurie Feldman said, to the crowd of more than sixty people who turned-out, "None of us believe that we should be managing your business."

Council member Dave Beckering said, "We're going to attempt to do that in a fair and equitable business. We're not trying to put anybody out of business. We do have the bars impacting some long-time businesses in that area."

Then council members sat back and listened to St. Charles residents, many of them bar and restaurant owners, about unintended consequences of the measure.

Michael Franklin, who identified himself as a poet and a performer, approached the podium and said, "I am a proponent of civil liberties and free speech, and I would hate to see the city of St. Charles be negligent."

Franklin also felt city laws were being unfairly enforced.

"The casinos should not have special provisions that other bar owners in the city do not have," said Franklin.

One business owner told the council, "We fed 110,000 people last year. They walked through our doors, on Main Street, and no one was accosted, no one was mugged, raped, or murdered."

After the council's public input session, council member Richard Veit held a news conference, where he explained that the portion of the proposed bill that may violate Constitutional rights has been deleted. He read the deleted section, out loud.

"Nor shall any licensee or his/her employees allow any indecent, profane or obscene language, song, entertainment, literature or advertising material upon the premises."

Veit read from a statement. "We remain concerned that this same language is still contained in the Missouri Code of State Regulations and applicable to our establishments in St. Charles as well as throughout Missouri. We join in asking the Attorney General of Missouri to give an official opinion...." that determines if
the language in question violates Constitutional rights.

Veit was asked if the issues regarding freedom of speech got caught-up in efforts to curb underage and excessive drinking.

"It's interesting," said Veit, "when you get accused of trying to violate someone's
First Amendment rights to cuss... it's interesting the kind of e-mails that you get."

Veit added this hypothetical situation.

"On historic Main Street," said Veit, "we have a family walking down the street. You got drunken patrons... which we don't have, by the way, shouting profanity at them. And a bar owner says, 'Hey, that's my First Amendment right, my patrons can do whatever they want to....' That's something we'd like to feel like we'd be able to regulate."


they didn't mention however, that i pointed out that the city was lying when they reported deleting the section of the bill banning profanity, clearly loopholed when they added a provision that allowed the city to enforce state regulations as laws. this is criminal. but at least they took note of something. democracy fucking rules!