Wednesday, March 8, 2017

What happens when City gets the critical media spotlight, then it’s discovered they did the right thing after all?

What happens? Nothing. There’s silence from the media and the critics. The press goes on to other things (e.g., a little chocolate store closing in the Downtown) and then the “big issue” goes away.

That’s what happened with the kerfuffle over the ban on packaged alcohol sales after 10:00 p.m here in the City of Lake Worth.

After hearing what Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell had to say at the Commission meeting last December and also his comments at the meeting back on November as well, the ordinance prohibiting packaged alcohol after 10:00 pm is here to stay. Maxwell said he’s hearing positive comments and feedback from many neighborhoods and PBSO Cpt. Baer has confirmed that information: crime is down as a result and compliance with the ordinance is up:

Information from PBSO update at the Dec. 13th City Commission meeting.

However, at a City Commission meeting last September many convenience store owners showed up to express their displeasure at public comment and during break at the dais. Maxwell insisted that store owners, per the rules, give their home address and not their business address. It wasn’t lost on many that none of those addresses were in the City of Lake Worth. The cities I recall where the owners reside was Wellington, Riviera Beach, Boynton Beach, Broward County, etc.

Draw your own conclusions. From the City’s website, learn the reason why this ordinance was adopted in the first place:

     In response to neighborhood concerns and thanks to a new City Ordinance, it is now illegal to sell packaged alcohol products between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. The law is designed to help stop unnecessary, late night commotion associated with breaches to open container laws taking place in parking lots and outside of shopping venues. 
     Under the Ordinance, bar hours will not change. Restaurants and establishments with a valid liquor license may continue to serve alcohol on-site.
     The City was motivated to create the Ordinance due to numerous calls to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office about public disturbance issues surrounding packaged sales outlets. Deputies found that people were treating stores like “de facto bars,” going in, buying a single packaged item, drinking it outside and coming back in to buy more.