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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, April 9

Worth noting

County in Adirondacks takes step to close bars earlier
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
The Associated Press  

ELIZABETHTOWN — A county in the Adirondacks has taken the first step toward requiring bars to stop serving alcohol at 3 a.m. instead of 4 a.m.
Local media outlets report that the Public Safety Committee of the Essex County Board of Supervisors on Monday approved a measure calling for the earlier closing time. A final vote on the proposal is expected at a board meeting May 6.
If approved, the State Liquor Authority would make the final decision after a public hearing.
The 3 a.m. proposal is a compromise from an earlier recommendation seeking a 2 a.m. closing time, a move opposed by some tavern owners in the village of Lake Placid.
Supporters of the earlier closing time say the move would reduce alcohol-based problems and their related costs. 


If you don't know why that would be significant in Saratoga Springs, read here.
Essex County is north of Washington and Warren counties. According to my count last April, about two thirds of counties in the state have restricted their last call hours to earlier than the latest the State Liquor Authority allows bars to stay open — 4 a.m. 
The Saratoga County Board of Supervisors shot down a vote similar to the one Essex County took in July before it even made it to a vote of the full board. 

Also, I spoke to Public Safety Commissioner Christian Mathiesen the other day about salaries and overtime for a story over the weekend on City Salaries (which now has a list of the salaries for all city employees who make more than $10,000), and we talked a little about downtown problems. 

 It didn't really fit in the story at the time, but he said according to Public Safety numbers, $135,000 in salary and overtime is "directly attributable to additional patrols needed" for the Caroline Street bar district. 

He added that many of the department's injuries  are caused on Caroline Street late at night "when people become emboldened and offer resistance to police."  (They have at least two officers out right now for it)

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Say what you (the citizens) want regarding Public Safety Commissioner Christian Mathiesen, yes he is boisterous, yes he talks too much on the topic in discussion, but he ran on a platform, won and has and is carrying out on those promises.
Should he be crucified for this? I don’t think so. His leadership in running his department has resulted in a City run ambulance that makes money (something that was promised of the Rec Center and never happened, in fact it continues posting deficits that rise annually). He wanted to close downtown bars back 2 hours and would settle for 1 hour to 3a.m., but was shot down on that pledge, now with the crime rising because alcohol related incidents it looks like he was right to pursue this promise. Is he right all the time, no, but he is one of the few politicians’ who promises and goes full steam ahead popular or not, doing what those elected him to do expected.

April 9, 2013 at 12:10 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the author of the above completely. It is so nice to see an honest politician attempting to keep his promises! Keep up the good work Chris. Just to let everyone know I am not on the campaign team, democrat committee, or involved in politics. I am just an observer.

April 10, 2013 at 6:50 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting that with all his concern about officer safety Mathiesen is pushing for mounted cameras, filming everyone and everything on the streets of Saratoga Springs, rather then the "wearable" cameras highlighted in the New York Times article earlier this month.

The cameras, manufactured by Taser International, record all encounters between officers and civilians, in HD. These cameras have been proven cut complaints against officers (the ones which result in ALL those pesky law suits and settlements), officer use of force, and disability claims by at least HALF.

Although, it's high definition video and crisp audio capture would also force the officers to document what's REALLY happening, and could probably also document where they REALLY are when things happen, and at certain times of the day. Not as easy to fudge the numbers and create a story with that sort of documentation.

April 16, 2013 at 10:18 AM 

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