The City Council tonight passed an ordinance amendment that establishes new mandatory operational and management reforms to the city’s Board of Licenses. Spearheaded by the Council’s Majority Whip Jo-Ann Ryan (Ward 5), this legislative package brings to fruition many of the recommendations outlined in the Jeffrey Pine report, which was commissioned by the Council last year.
“Recognizing the integral role that the Board of Licensing plays both in the economic development of the city and as a regulatory authority for neighborhood quality of life issues, the Council initiated a comprehensive reform effort to improve the city’s licensing operations,” said Ryan, who also chairs the Council’s Committee on Municipal Operations and Oversight, an entity that delves into the details of local government to improve city services.
In 2016, the Council hired former Attorney General Jeffrey Pine to conduct a review of the Board’s operations. The Council has also worked with the administration and state legislators to implement the report’s recommendations.
Changes to state legislation were adopted last year by the General Assembly in support of the Council’s licensing initiative. This legislation modernizes and better defines liquor license classifications, which in turn provides businesses with a more predictable business framework.
Ryan noted that the City of Providence has already implemented one of the report’s recommendations; a comprehensive audit of all licensing records is now underway. Pine deemed this measure essential for accountability, especially regarding records management and payment collection.
“We’re pleased that our colleagues in government are working with us to improve licensing operations,” said Ryan. “Together we will continue to bolster and grow the city’s economy while protecting the quality of life in our neighborhoods.”