Friday, July 10, 2015

Who Gets the last 2 Liquor Licenses and at What Cost?

Hi All,
On Monday, July 12, 2015 @ 7 pm  the following will be an AGENDA ITEM at the Board of Trustees meeting. 

The problem with this "agenda item" is there will be some "discussion" ( pre-determined for the most part)  and this agenda item will have a VOTE... that will change how and to whom ... a liquor license is awarded.... well... keep reading...  Show up at the meeting if you are a business owner or a potential owner/investor needing one of these liquor licenses.

It appears that this new criteria is just for the two available:   CLASS C and TAVERN QUOTA LIQUOR LICENSES.
Thinking out loud:  what IF our population increases and more licenses become available?  Do they need to meet these new criteria?
More thinking.  What if an existing establishment closes and the existing license either goes back to the Township or is sold... must the new owner of that license meet these new criteria in this resolution?

Class C: On Premise license to serve Beer, Wine, and Liquor. Issued by the local governmental unit according to population
Tavern: On Premise license to serve Beer & Wine Issued by local governmental unit according to population

It always amazes me how the Township RESOLUTIONS  are pre-written and not a result of the Township Board and Citizens discussion at a public meeting.
Somehow, study sessions took place with no public notice... or groups of people met below the number required to have open meetings and hashed all this out.  Obviously, the township had to pay lawyers to write this up...and I wonder if they also participated in the decision making?  Will the Township tell the taxpayers when and how this issue came up... and who participated in writing the Resolution? 

The three minutes at the podium for comment/discussion  by the citizens mean nothing.  Often the Trustees seem to be checking their phones or laughing among themselves versus actually paying attention to what may be said. Then, Supervisor Savoie chooses what he wishes to respond to... and not other comments.  He always has the last comment and no citizen follow up is permitted. 

Good grief... just recently, an elderly man with an oxygen tank was speaking out of turn for the second time... and Supervisor Savoie had the elderly man escorted out of the meeting by an ARMED policeman. If the Township would follow Roberts Rules of Order, maybe some issues could actually be heard properly. 
My second area of concern deals with WHY is this resolution NEEDED NOW?  

Let's speculate.
Supervisor Leo Savoie basically appointed himself to be part of the 3 person committee ( Joint Development Council)  planning the property shared with the City of Pontiac on Telegraph Road...   AKA the failed Bloomfield Park property. That acreage is reported to be going out of bankruptcy and a proposal to develop by Redico and others was on the table at the April 16, 2015 meeting (go to the link in this paragraph and click on Council Packets).  Unfortunately, any May or June meeting held does not have any minutes posted.  What does Savoie know from those meetings?  Are there businesses willing to come to this area IF..... they get a liquor license?  Is there a question as to how can Savoie keep the TWO remaining liquor licenses available for those potential establishments?
Coming up:  NEXT MEETING of the Joint Development Council:  

Let's speculate some more.
There is property in the northeast section of the township that is now vacant and in need of investors.
South Boulevard/ Opdyke/ Squirrel roads...  A really nice establishment with a liquor license would most likely be welcomed by the taxpayers in that area.  But could a new restaurant AFFORD the new criteria?  It is not as high a traffic location as Telegraph Road.  The question is..  should this Township Board make decisions that improve ALL SECTIONS of the Township?   Will this resolution eliminate some areas for redevelopment?  How many liquor establishments do we need on Telegraph Rd?

Well, let's read the township's predetermined....  RESOLUTION.  See Below.

The Resolution will adopt ADDITIONAL CRITERIA ....above and beyond what all the existing liquor license holders in the township needed when they got their permit.  The existing businesses are exempt from meeting the new additional criteria.

1.  Money is one new criteria.

2.  Seating capacity is another new criteria.  Must have 60 or more seats.

3.  Job creation is also required by the applicant.

4.  Capital investment for new or redeveloped property... a mere $1.5 million.

5.  Capital investment for existing business... why a "preferred minimum" of $250,000 already spent over the past 5 years combined with job increases.

6.  Gambling will not be allowed or permitted. 

Thinking out loud.....What if the facility is to be used by a charity that wants to hold special "gambling" events?  Will that be denied?   Will existing liquor license holders be able to hold "gambling" events for charities?

7.  Keep reading the "Resolution" below for MORE CRITERIA.  I would love to know who sat around thinking all this up. 

8.  FYI...I wanted to read the Ordinance referenced in the resolution.. but when I did a SEARCH of the township website.. this is what appeared:
 "no pages contain the words:  zoning ordinance 569"   I'm sure it is SOMEWHERE... but it would be nice if the document was included in the board packet.  Maybe here:,_%28oakland_co.%29/codes/code_of_ordinances

In my opinion, if you are CHANGING an ordinance... it would nice to see the ORIGINAL... and exactly HOW it will be worded in the future. 

9.  Have questions or need answers from the Township?  Sorry... they voted themselves a 4 day work week... they don't work on Friday.  You'll have to wait until Monday.... or speak up and help get the Township get back to a 5 day work week... like the rest of us...

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