Bill Wayne's Political Pages - The Gadfly
Gadfly 89
Submitted to the Warrensburg Gazette for May 24, 2001

The Gadfly is a series of letters offering commentary on local issues and published in the Warrensburg Gazette.

Dear Editor

Warrensburg’s got itself in trouble again. The City lost in a suit filed by a local bar owner, who said he was arbitrarily denied the type of liquor license he wanted. It seems that the City’s ordinance wasn’t really clear on the requirements, giving the City Manager too much discretion. The sad thing is they could have settled before going to trial and saved themselves attorney fees and court costs. From comments printed, the City seems to believe that bar owners regularly cook their books to make the food figures say whatever is needed to qualify for a specific type of license; that is where enforcement should be aimed. In any case, I suspect that the establishment in question will get a lot of scrutiny from liquor control people.

This situation is reminiscent of the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) flap a couple of years ago. That’s when city staff advocated giving away school and county property tax money to make improvements at the Applebee’s development. What was requested was clearly illegal, but that didn’t stop city staff from pushing it. The only thing that saved a lawsuit then was the City Council’s recognition that the County Commission wouldn’t back down. Contrary to dire predictions at the time, the site is still developing as construction continues on what signs tell us will be an office supply store.

Speaking of signs, have you been by the Community Center lately? They have a sign (advertising a certain soft drink, no less) telling us that they’re going to put up a sign. When the fancy new sign is finally erected, maybe they can buy some red numbers and post the monthly and year-to-date operating loss.

And one more sign to speak of: there’s a nice banner over Maguire Street advertising the Blind Boone Music & Culture Festival on Saturday, June 2nd. It looks like a lot of fun! See the website for details and schedule).

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