Council's pub crawl is weak, indecisive
After a lot of time, research and posturing over a proposal to require a nightclub license to improve public safety, the Seattle City Council...
After a lot of time, research and posturing over a proposal to require a nightclub license to improve public safety, the Seattle City Council took the path of least resistance: The council voted Monday to vote a year from now on a license, a move that is almost entirely meaningless.
It's a mulligan, a do-over. A lame one at that. The council chickened out because it is afraid to do much that stirs controversy among even a small group. Nightclub owners? Ooooh, scary.
Seattle residents get more process while public safety suffers.
Before Monday's voting, there seemed to be five votes to enact a license law that would take effect September 2008.
Then along came Councilwoman Jean Godden, who should be singled out for spectacularly bad conduct. She introduced an amendment that stopped implementation of a license a year from now and instead persuaded a weak-willed council to take another vote next year.
Godden and other council members are so afraid of the nightclub lobby they are fearful of doing anything to ruffle its feathers. So the vote to vote next year.
The need for a license is established. This is an important public-safety issue. There have been more than a dozen gun incidents, including shootings, at or near clubs in the past 14 months.
A police sting revealed that some clubs serve alcohol to inebriated and underage patrons. Some clubs do a lousy job of checking identification. In one case, police say a bouncer took a $100 bribe to allow a gun into a club, though the gun never actually was taken into the club. One night it will be.
Mayor Greg Nickels had it right when he proposed a city nightclub license to improve public safety.
What does the City Council do? It passes weaker legislation that requires clubs to create safety plans, makes it easier to bring nuisance action against problem establishments for overcrowding, and establishes a nightclub commission. When in doubt, create a commission.
The truth is, the council put political expediency ahead of public safety. Shame on those who decided to hide from an important issue. Someone is going to get hurt at a nightclub and the City Council will have shirked its responsibility.
Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company
When vice president of Sub Pop Records Megan Jasper isn't running things at the office, she's working in her garden at her West Seattle home where she and her husband Brian spend time relaxing.