“We expect you to run a clean, quiet establishment” —Ashley Paulk @ LCC 2012 03 13

A month ago (28 February 2012), Chairman Ashley Paulk chastised the VDT for how it reported on recent changes to the alcohol ordinance. This month he singled out an applicant for an alcohol license and said:
We expect you to run a clean, quiet establishment. If not, we expect the Sheriff to enforce the law.
Sheriff Chris Prine nodded.

Here’s the video:

“We expect you to run a clean, quiet establishment” —Ashley Paulk @ 2012-03-13
Regular Session, Lowndes County Commission, (LCC), Lowndes County Commission,
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 13 March 2012.
Video by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE).

What’s this about, and what’s the connection with the meeting of a month ago? The Chairman was referring to the same article by VDT reporter David Rodock, 25 February 2012, Lowndes bars face new closing hours this weekend,

Lowndes County Sheriff Chris Prine said many bar patrons were leaving Remerton or Valdosta establishments to drive to Lowndes County bars.

“With the bars closing basically at the same time, hopefully, they’ll break it up and go home if they’re not able to bar hop from one bar to another,” he explained. “There’s been times when bars are open at 5 a.m. on a Sunday morning, which is ridiculous.”

Prine stated that there had been numerous problems with one unnamed establishment in Lowndes County. He said they received twice as many complaints from one club than all of the others combined.

“The rest of the clubs have behaved themselves and acted like they should,” he said. “We hate to punish everybody for one or two bad eggs.”

Vegas Night Club’s assistant manger John Thornton stated his business wasn’t notified of the change until Feb. 22 and they were worried about a potential drop in business. He said that many of the customers did not arrive until after 2 a.m.

“It’s just been one thing after another with us and the county. I have to say, it feels like a sucker punch,” he said.

Thornton said off-duty Lowndes County deputies are no longer allowed to be present at the nightclub, but roadblocks have been setup on both sides of the club on numerous occasions.

The bar on the agenda for the March 13th is a different one:
7.a. Beer, Wine, and Liquor License — Rascal’s — 4875 HWY 41
But as Chairman Paulk pointed out, Rascal’s and Vegas have the same owner.

What’s the VDT’s take on this interaction? David Rodock wrote 14 March 2012, County Board Chairman Paulk cautions bar owners,

During a public hearing at the Lowndes County Board of Commissioners meeting Tuesday for on-site consumption of alcohol, Chairman Ashley Paulk gave the new owner of Rascal’s some stern advice about operations.

“I understand you all are associated with Vegas and this is an area where residents live close by and we expect you to respect their wishes and try and work with them,” he said. “I pulled the records on Vegas and over the last seven months, we’ve had a little over 70 911 calls where the Sheriff answered.”

“We have 120,000 people to look after and I just expect you to run a clean and quiet establishment. If not, we expect the Sheriff to enforce the law,” Paulk said. “We will work with you in any way we can and we’d be glad to and we hope you do well with it, but understand the area you’re going into is a lot different than what Vegas is.”

Without further comment, commissioners unanimously approved the license for consumption of alcohol on premises.

And the VDT made no further comment, either, but we can connect the dots back to that earlier VDT story.

Once again I commend Chairman Paulk for his interest in local government transparency, since without him mentioning it, we the public wouldn’t have known the two bars had the same owner, seeing as the county doesn’t yet publish the details of such applications with the agenda before they vote on them. I look forward to the county publishing such details.

Speaking of transparency, the ordinance as amended 14 February 2012 is on the county’s website. Congratulations to the county on publishing the alcohol ordinance! -jsq