As we reported two weeks ago, the Liquor Commission followed up its brutal dismissal of a group of citizens seeking to change the county’s rules prohibiting dancing in a club or restaurant except on a specially marked dance floor by asking Liquor Control Director Franklyn Silva to survey actual licensees. At the May 9 commission hearing, Silva gave the panel the results.
Immediately following the Liquor Commission’s April 11 hearing, Silva told the panel, he sent out a three-question survey to all the county’s 230 liquor licensees. Of those, 81 filled it out and sent it back by Silva’s May 1 deadline.
That’s a 35 percent response rate, which isn’t bad for a survey. Silva later speculated that the other 65 percent of licensees didn’t respond because they saw no problems with the current rules governing dancing. (Since speculation is cheap, let me offer a bit of my own: they didn’t respond because they didn’t want to put their name and license number on a piece of paper proclaiming their dissatisfaction with the current liquor rules).
In any case, Silva told the commissioners that in answer to the survey’s first question—“Have you encountered any problems with this rule?”—17 licensees said yes while 64 said no.
The second question asked the licensees if they’d like to see the rules amended: 22 said yes but 53 said no. And for the last question—“Has this rule assisted you in maintaining control of your premises for the health, safety and welfare of your patrons and employees?”—36 said yes while 25 said no.
There was also a comment portion of the survey. They mirrored the above results.
“We need a better definition of dancing,” one licensee wrote. “There are far more pressing issues and dancing is not at the top,” said another.
“I’d leave it [the dancing rule] alone,” Silva told the commission. “I think the rule is good. I don’t see the rule as being a problem.”
“But they have until May first to answer back?” Liquor Commission Chairwoman Frances Meshulam asked.
“May first has passed,” Silva said.