Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Ok they're writing about it again

Here's a NOLA.com article published this morning about opposition to the surveillance ordinance. It turns out the matter has been deferred from the city council agenda at the last minute which is pretty typical for a late breaking controversy like this.

One thing worth noting here is the Louisiana Restaurant Association raises concerns about the ordinance that extend beyond just the camera issue. 
  • Many of the concerns the LRA have about the ordinance involves changes to the community complaint process for alcoholic beverage outlets, and the way the city could go about enforcing violations. For instance, licensing and regulation would be moved under the umbrella of Safety and Permits from the Department of Finance, which the LRA said would give the department "access to your business revenue and other financial information."

  • The ordinance contains an emergency suspension provision, allowing the mayor, the police chief or the ABO Board chairman the ability to suspend a permit. That suspension would occur if any of those three people believe the operation "endangers the health, safety and welfare of the community."

  • The ordinance changes would make it easier to shut down businesses based on neighbor complaints. The city requires 10 complaints from neighbors within 300 feet currently; the new ordinance would require five complaints from neighbors within a half-mile radius.

  • To see a full list of the LRA's concerns, scroll to the bottom of this page.
It is very likely that the next move for councilmembers sensitive to the uproar will be to strip out the camera requirement but move forward with the rest of this claiming to have reached a compromise and "achieved balance" as LaToya likes to say.  But this all looks like a pretty draconian crack down on liquor licenses with or without the Big Brother factor.  Is it too far to speculate that this was how they wanted it to play out from step one?

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