Talkin’ with Gomes
Remember when Commissioner James T. Viela resigned after five months on the LC Commission, on the same day MTW reported his 2005 DUI? His vacant seat may be filled by Jimmy Gomes, who previously served on the Commission from 2002-05. We chatted with him July 8; here’s an excerpt:
MTW: You’re probably familiar with the LC rules on dancing. Do you agree with them?
JG: I would have to read all the testimony very carefully and then come to a decision.
MTW: What about the hostess bars? Do you think there should be more or fewer of them?
JG: I believe there are only 12 of them, and there’s a moratorium on future ones.
MTW: Won’t that make the value of a hostess bar license that much higher?
JG: (laughs) I don’t think that’s the case here. With more DUI enforcement fewer people are going to the hostess bars. I’ve heard they’re taking it in the shorts. I hear they’re having a hard time. That reflects on a down industry.
MTG: By a rough count, the Liquor Control Board now has 19 people on staff. Nine of them have a relative working in the office with them. Does this cause you concern?
JG: Not as long as every applicant is treated fairly, straight owl. This is a small island and this happens throughout the county and the state. People want their families in. It’s similar to when people worked on the plantations. It supported four or five generations working in sugar or pineapple. All big companies in Hawaii have this, and it’s no different for a county, ranch or private industry. Nowadays they’re stepping up the qualifications though. Now others are stepping in front of some local kids. People with college degrees get the job, unless the local kid went out and got a degree. A family must say, “We’re here to do a job.” If that’s the case, I don’t care. Otherwise, I have a problem with it.