License Commission meeting BYOB Updates

I attended this evening's 11/7/18 License Commission meeting to be able to report the discussion on BYOB regulations after the public hearing was held a few weeks ago. I'll report random views and statements from Commissioners here.
đŸ“’Daniel Sarefield: "We've received some comments from the public, I wouldn't call them statistically significant, since only 20 people came...but they were a representative sample of certain individuals..."
"Many of the people that spoke were concerned about BYOB businesses that had a common victaullers license, that's an issue that is certainly up for discussion. In addition to that, the timeframe we had specified (5-11pm) and the amount of alcohol (64oz) and the types of alcohol (wine & beer only) were issues that were indicated to us in various communications" "The fee also is something we needs to pare down" 
They are also waiting on the City Solicitor for the suggestion on the required liquor liability.
đŸ“’ Donna Pawlak: She started by noting that she thinks most people thought the license fee was a fundraising measure...and she believes is not the case. She noted that while most people were supportive of the BYOB--that 2 people, that owned licensed pouring establishments, that refused to speak publicly because they were planning to speak against---but were 'overwhelmed with everything that was taking place", and wished to remain anonymous with Pawlak., spoke about how unfair it was that they had to pay for liability "it's a huge cost to them, and a huge cost to make sure their staff is TIPS certified...and they thought it was unfair that BYOB establishments didn't have to do any of that." She then notes that the police report showing 2 incidents in 10 years at 6 locations did not include 'the motorcycle place on Ashby state rd' or 'Saima park', "so i would agree with the chief that we need to have a list of places that are doing it, because we aren't even tracking those if someone leaves Saima those places should be added to the city of fitchburg statistics.." she then notes a former city employee telling her they do BYOB at Cleghorn House of Pizza....but she's not certain of that. So if someone leaves one is thinking to stop them..."
đŸ“’Daniel Sarefield: "At face value, the info the Capt was able to gather indicated that there had been TWO instances (in 10 years for 6 establishments) at a BYOB can't say nothings ever happened anywhere--that's simply false. The fact that we are not collecting info, and we are not regulating this in some way, I think there is a cause for us to be concerned about it, it's our obligation to address this and i think there are things that were conveyed at the meeting that were totally legitimate, we can make accommodations based on what we heard that make it possible for some of those business to continue to practice BYOB as long as it is done so in a legal manner--I think if we do nothing we continute to have the same problem that we have--that we don't know where this is happening, the police don't know where this is happening, and so if there are problems its going to take us that much longer to figure out where and what they are and that is a is our obligation and we cannot ignore it." 
đŸ¥‚Daniel Sarefield: "I know that many of the folks who talked about the TIPS certification and how much it was going to cost them---frankly I'm not convinced by that-- the rest of these businesses that have to have certification, they pass that expense onto their employees---businesses don't pay for that, employees pay for that themselves, that's not a burden on them, if they need to be TIPS certified, they'll make their employees pay for that...and so the ONLY cost that is going to be involved here would be whatever amount would be necessary to process the info at the city clerks office and liability insurance which would protect them and the city if something went wrong"
--BYOB discussion to be continued to 1st meeting in January 2019.


Live video of the Monday October 15, 2018 License Commission Meeting discussing the BYOB regulation proposal