Benji Hardy was at the Little Rock City Board meeting at which private club closing hours and, perhaps, the Uber ride service were on the agenda for discussion.
As predicted here weeks ago, the Board now has a firm “compromise” proposal from City Director Brad Cazort — the 2 a.m. closing City Director Joan Adcock has long wanted for the nine or so clubs that now can stay open until 5 a.m., but with a 3 a.m. closing on weekends. I’m presuming that means Friday and Saturday, but we’ll have to see.
Cazort said he wants three readings and a final vote on Sept. 16. Director Ken Richardson spoke forcefully against the idea.
I’d hoped they might dodge this proposal aimed at targeting a handful of business simply because some disapprove of their business. There is no way to support those restrictions on any rational basis. More police calls are made to businesses that won’t be affected every day.
But hard to see where Richardson can get five directors to join him to block this.
Cazort and Fortson recently made a late-night swing through several of the clubs. They found big crowds. This seemed to trouble them. Lots of people having fun, spending money, spurring business, paying taxes.
More to come.
UPDATE: Maybe I misunderestimate the directors. Benji Hardy reports:
Actually, .maybe its bc of the crowd here, but sympathy is mostly on the clubs’ side. Erma Hendrix and Stacy Hurst both made it clear they’re not fans of early closure. Lance Hines and Doris Wright are doubtful too. B.J. Wyrick recused herself from the discussion.
Benji said Wyrick recused because hr son-in-law works for a law firm representing a club or clubs.
The meeting has concluded. Benji will be back later with more details of what he said was an interesting discussion. As we said originally, no decision tonight. But both Cazort’s idea and City Manager Bruce Moore’s proposal to require increased off-duty police security at the clubs an be discussed again next week.