Friday, January 18, 2008

Comments & Commentary by Charles Hill

Just when you think the city council and the tourism department hasn’t a clue how to market St. Charles they prove us wrong. The adage any press is good press must be the new mantra. The new liquor license law rewrite has truly made us the laughing stock of the country on so many levels. Mayor York has proudly proclaimed that her task force worked on this bill and Councilman Richard Veit was thrilled with sponsoring it. Since St. Charles, because of York and Veit has now made USA Today, FOX 2 News, CNN, the big 550 KMOX and channel 5 to name a few. To say the press was good wouldn’t be true. Worst is the message that has been sent with these stories is even worse.
A town that depends on tourism dollars isn’t helped much by saying the Main Street “where history comes alive”, “fun then fun now”, has a problem with the bar scene. This isn’t the best way to get tourists. As a matter of fact there is a good chance it will have the opposite effect.
Main Street suffered through the pedestrian mall fiasco, now we have the Mayor and her nine yes men and one yes woman city council trying to reach inside the bars and run the businesses. York has provided such great leadership in managing the city that she now has decided that she knows how to run the bar business. Her own failed bed and breakfast wasn’t enough, now she wants to ruin other businesses.
Those who haven’t really discovered the real reason for this change to the liquor ordinance need to look at the bars that will be allowed to remain open even though their liquor license was approved by those in city hall in violation of the law. One of these bars is in a building on North Main Street that is owned by the Mayor and her husband. The new proposed liquor bill appears to be a smoke screen to cover yet another law that York decided not to follow.
In conclusion, thanks Mayor and city council for truly making St. Charles the laughing stock of the country. Your efforts to ensure York’s rent money from her building have resulted in St. Charles becoming the butt of many jokes. The simple truth is we have a good liquor law on the books if it would be followed and enforced. There isn’t a need to make the changes.
Note to the Convention and Visitors Bureau and convention center, here is a good selling point. Come to St. Charles where swearing is outlawed in our bars, we have the fighting under control. So come visit, you won’t get beat and won’t hear sh--.