City Council Calls for Review of Board of Licenses and Creates a Working Group to Explore Nightlife Culture

Sep 5, 2019 | 0 comments

The City Council tonight announced initiatives to review the processes and procedures to review the Board of Licenses, and to also set up a working group to address the issues surrounding nightlife that we are facing in Providence.

This Council will be engaging the services of a local law firm to look at the processes and procedures of the Board of Licensees from the top down. In 2016 the Council engaged former Attorney General Jeffrey Pine to do a comprehensive overview, and this is a continuation of that process. In addition, the Council is also pulling together a working group of nightlife business owners, public safety officials, and elected officers to come together to discuss best practices.

The Pine Report, as it has been called, was compiled to assess the Board of Licenses’ adjudication process and to equip the board members with tools for best practices.

Council President Sabina Matos stated, “We must provide a framework for our nightlife businesses to operate with the know-how of how to handle and deescalate issues that might arise at their establishments. Working with Anthony Santurri, a pioneer in Providence’s nightlife scene, the Council believes that we can find solutions to the challenges that our City is currently facing. I commend my colleagues for making real and quantifiable change in our City.”

“As a freshman Councilor I advocated for a balance of opportunities for business owners and the quality of life of our residents,” stated Majority Leader Jo-Ann Ryan. “The Council initiated a complete review of the Board of Licenses and it is apparent to me that we need to do more. With the recent uptick in violence associated around clubs in our City I believe we are ready to revisit these issues. I look forward to working with my colleagues to make changes that benefit businesses and the community alike.”

The Council has been outspoken on its desire to promote a healthy business environment throughout the City, and one that serves the needs of neighborhood residents. More and more there are neighborhood restaurants that are also operating as entertainment venues at night, and the result has been an onslaught of issues affecting the quality of life for residents.

The working group to review nightlife best practices will come together in the coming weeks. It is the Council’s hope to engage as many constituencies as possible.

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