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The Saratogian Newsroom blog, complete with thoughts and commentary from our newsroom staff and regular posts on happenings around town.

Tuesday, June 5

Last Call politics (Updated)

I wish I could say I wouldn't have to write about last call again, but it seems clear I'm going to have to for the rest of the year as the issue moves through the Board of Supervisors and then to the State Liquor Authority.

Interesting vote Tuesday night. Read the story (and watch a video of two opposing viewpoints) here.

One particularly interesting aspect was Michele Madigan's political move in essentially not taking a stance. "I'm in favor of moving this to the county to decide," she said.

In fact, she cited my article... well, the first sentence of my article which reads as follows:
"The City Council is slated to vote Tuesday night on changing last call at local bars to 3 a.m," which she denounced as wrong.

"We're not voting on changing last call here," she said. "That's not what we're doing here."

She clearly didn't read sentence # 2 which stated, and I quote:

"After the City Council vote, the measure would need to go to the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors for approval. If approved there, it would still need to go to the New York State Liquor Authority Board for approval."

She said she did not want to tell the county to make the change county wide, but (maybe didn't read) the resolution she voted to endorse said:
"WHEREAS, this City Council recognizes that its partner, the County of Saratoga Board of Supervisors, has the sole authority to enact a measure to constrain the adverse effects on the public and City employees tasked with protecting the public associated with the on-premises sale of alcoholic beverages, that measure being the county-wide change in the time of last call from 4 a.m. to 3 a.m."
Below is the full resolution, if anyone out there is interested in reading it. While Madigan did not want to take a stand on last call issues, she did, since she voted to approve the below resolution:

WHEREAS, the Saratoga Springs City Council has great appreciation for the historic
and contemporary resort nature of Saratoga Springs as a destination for rest, relaxation,
nightlife, and entertainment, and

WHEREAS, this City Council has a responsibility to protect the public health, safety and
welfare from adverse effects associated with the on-premises sale of alcoholic
beverages at establishments licensed to sell such beverages within the City of Saratoga
Springs, and

WHEREAS, this City Council has taken numerous measures to constrain the adverse
effects on the public and City employees tasked with protecting the public associated
with the on-premises sale of alcoholic beverages at establishments licensed to sell such
beverages within the City of Saratoga Springs, and

WHEREAS, this City Council will continue to work with local proprietors to constrain the
adverse effects on the public and City employees tasked with protecting the public
associated with the on-premises sale of alcoholic beverages at establishments licensed
to sell such beverages within the City of Saratoga Springs, and;

WHEREAS, this City Council recognizes that its partner, the County of Saratoga
Springs Board of Supervisors, has the sole authority to exercise one measure to
constrain the adverse effects on the public and City employees tasked with protecting
the public associated with the on-premises sale of alcoholic beverages, that measure
being the county-wide change in the time of last call from 4:00 AM to 3:00 AM;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Saratoga Springs City Council asks
Saratoga County Board of Supervisors to support a law that will change the permitted
hours of on-premises sales of alcoholic beverages at retail in the City of Saratoga
Springs, prohibiting such sales on Sundays from 3:00 A.M. to 12:00 noon, and on any
other day from 3:00 A.M. to 8:00 A.M.

ADOPTED:
AYES: 3 (I filled this in)

Update:
Madigan called me this evening to explain her stance on last call in the county and the vote she cast Tuesday night.

"I just want to see this issue solved once and for all," she said, adding she did not think it was "politics as usual" as my tag indicates.
"I’m completely disinterested in this issue, and the county needs to solve it or this issue is going to keep coming up year after year after year," she said.
"All I wanted to do was kick it to the county," she said. "If the county board of Supervisors wants to change last call, fine."

Madigan, though, said she thinks the issue was being rushed.

"I think the bar owners are working with the city hand-in-hand," she said. "I personally feel the city needs to give bar owners more time to see if their efforts pay off."
"This is a divisive issue. Somebody needs to look at it once and for all."
She said she was divided on the issue, but she was in favor of the county deciding. "Last night was a tough vote for me," she said.

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9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

She wants it both ways,all the things she said to you Lucian she should have said at the council table....if you're not for something you vote your conscience,in this case it was politics and because of that her conscience is not clear...it's a tough game you win some you lose some in this case she feels she's lost and her unclear conscience knows it!

June 7, 2012 at 4:32 AM 
Blogger Kyle York said...

Ms. Maddy has made a pact with the Dental-Devil. So when she comes up with some equally crackpot scheme, she can be assured of at least one vote from the Nitrous-fueled end of the table to make her Happy-again. As far as her interview antics, she gives cowardice a bad name.

June 7, 2012 at 1:35 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous: At the table she said she was not voting to change last call but to send it to the County. She cited all the positive things the bar owners have been doing and said she did not feel comfortable asking the County to change last call, but they need to review this issue and decide what to do once and for all.

Kyle: Uh, she told CM 5 weeks ago - at the table - that she would not support this move at this time. She told him 3 weeks ago (not at the table) that she was going to vote 'no' on his resolution, so he pulled it ("I didn't have the votes" is what he said, and of course Franck was for it cuz he tried to do it 2 years ago). Tues she verbally clarified, at the table, that she didn't think this should change but it is up to the County so let them deal with it.

I think she won this one. I also doubt there is any secret alliance. CM did not get what he wanted, she has not endorsed the notion of changing last call.

Lucian is just angry that she said something about his article that he didn't like.

June 7, 2012 at 10:24 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry 10:24pm,if she wasn't for this SHE should have voted no,she fell to the city hall bully Elieen Finneran who's been pressuring her for weeks(the entire building knows this),CM got exactly what he wanted a political decision based on party politics now Yepsen will be blamed for not being able to get it through the County Board of Supervisors,I don't think Lucian is angry probably he's alittle purplexed by Madigans weakness.

June 9, 2012 at 4:11 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It doesn't appear that this is going to fly. It's probably time to move to Plan B and figure out how to make downtown safer for the patrons we do appreciate and the people who live in the area. Should the bars or the taxpayers pay the tab? As a woman, I see Downtown after 2:00 am as like a fraternity...you never allow yourself to be the last female at a frat party.

June 10, 2012 at 9:48 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see the McTyuge brothers are still runing the City.

June 11, 2012 at 7:46 AM 
Blogger Horatio Alger said...

Madigan is right in at least one respect: The sentence in the Saratogian article is completely inaccurate. It's already been determined that the city simply can't move last call, much less vote on a resolution that would affect such a change. They can send a resolution to the county RECOMMENDING the change, which is how I interpret the resolution that passed.

Now this isn't to say that Madigan is off the hook. Far from it. She's speaking out both sides of her mouth and doing a lousy job of it. She's attempting to appease Eileen Finneran, who I'm sure helped get her votes. But she also realizes that supporting this BS movement waged by the latest Public Safety dolt is a great way to ensure she's punted from office next year.

I wouldn't say she's a liar, as some have suggested. But what she's doing is being very disingenuous to say the least. Her drivel about 'putting it to bed once and for all' is just that. If that were the case with any of the meddling Keehniac relics, we wouldn't be dealing with the Charter Change issue or mulling a new Public Safety palace or any of the other bone-brained schemes they cook up and then regurgitate.

Kicking this worthless concept to the county, where it will assuredly fail, is Madigan's way of saying "see Eileen? I tried." Her now duplicitous statements in the media and at the council sort of undermines her intent, but not by much.

Nevertheless, I eagerly await the forthcoming laughter from the County Board of Supervisors' meeting this month, when they take a collective dump on this resolution, jam it in a paper bag, light said bag on fire and then leave it outside the door to Finneran's posh office.

June 11, 2012 at 12:08 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And is Eileen now on the phone calling all the county supervisors?

June 13, 2012 at 9:59 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Closing time for bars in Saratoga County should be 2am. If you can't go out for the evening and get buzzed by 2 then stay home and drink. I also agree, Lucian is an angry reporter when someone calls him on the carpet regarding one of his articles, heck, sometimes I wonder if we were in the same room the way he covers meetings.

June 15, 2012 at 12:28 AM 

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