Read the full letter below:
Mayor and Council,
Agenda item 7 at tonight’s meeting addresses changes to the Alcohol Ordinance. As I understand it, the Ordinance needs to be amended in order generate the new revenue that was specified in the FY2014 Budget (which has already been passed by Council.) The Ordinance proposed, however, is more than an amendment. It uses the existing Ordinance from Atlanta to make a complete replacement of our own Ordinance.
Atlanta’s ordinance is NOT a good model for East Point. We want a livable and walkable city with a rich offering of restaurants and bars in addition to specialty shops of all kinds. We want a city that encourages businesses to come here instead of driving them away. And, we want effective legislation that generates revenue for East Point by bringing in the businesses that we need and penalizing those who break the rules to the fullest extent, NOT this 92 page ordinance that says we aren’t open for business and that we tax the working class.
I ask that you vote against these changes. If the fees need to be raised, I ask that you raise them in the current ordinance and then let the new Council work on crafting new policy if it is needed. At the very least, I ask that you do not vote to waive the First Reading of the Ordinance thereby allowing it to appear at the next regular council meeting so that it can be considered by the newly elected Council Members.
I also invite you to take a look at the discussions around this that have been happening on Facebook in the East Point Council Watch group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/EastPointCouncilWatch/). There are over 250 members at present and it is growing. We are voters and concerned residents who are looking for solutions. We expect you to listen to us.
Alexia M. Ryan