Tuesday, August 19, 2014

No vote tonight on Little Rock private club ordinances UPDATE

Posted By on Tue, Aug 19, 2014 at 6:24 PM

Benji Hardy reports that the Little Rock City Board won't take up private club ordinances tonight after all. Not enough members present.

Directors Gene Fortson and Stacy Hurst were absent and Director B. J. Wyrick has recused because of a family connection to the issue. That leaves seven members of the board, not enough said Mayor Stodola to suspend the rules and move proposed ordinances to a final reading.

So that will delay consideration for two weeks. Two ordinances have been proposed — one negotiated between the clubs and City Manager Bruce Moore to require more security at the clubs that stay open until 5 a.m. and another by Directors Fortson and Brad Cazoart and believed to be supported by Joan Adcock to close the clubs at 2 a.m., except for 3 a.m. on two weekend days.

UPDATE: After the big crowd on hand for the club debate left, the subject came up again.

Director Dean Kumpuris said he wanted the two competing ordinances combined in some kind of compromise. Director Joan Adcock, though a foe of the extended hours, admonished the board for taking up the subject after everyone had left.  "I will not be discussing this because I feel like it's unfair to the people who were here," she said. 

The tenor of the discussion seems to be a compromise that would continue the added security and perhaps also give the city leeway to restrict club hours on a case by case basis. This would provide a stick for the city of added security doesn't prevent problems. Directors Ken Richardson and Doris Wright, both of whom opposed the 2 a.m. closing ordinance in an earlier discussion, indicated they'd like to see a blended ordinance.

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