Commonwealth Journal

Local News

June 15, 2013

Mayor anticipates tussle over additional liquor licenses


Somerset —

According to Girdler, the meeting has yet to be precisely scheduled.
Girdler said that as he understands it, “this is a political process, not a legal process,” and that “the three companies ... would try to obtain some changes relative to Somerset through the political process.”
He added, “My understanding is that it’s based on whatever the committee wants to do. They have the flexibility of determining whether they will entertain any other comment other than what the ABC board has submitted to them.
“We don’t understand how without a public hearing, (other parties) could even make objections,” he added. “Once (the ABC’s) recommendations went over to the general assembly oversight committee, then this committee schedules a hearing.”
Girdler said that the revising of ABC rules regarding how licenses are distributed applies to all cities throughout Kentucky, and that the office “has done a masterful job. They’ve been very easy to work with and have listened to us. ... We had a hearing with them in Frankfort. Nobody showed up to object and the ABC board took up our recommendations.
“Based on the presentation, the ABC board felt 10 (liquor licenses) would be sufficient to serve the area,” he added. “... There are no issues except for local people who feel like a monopoly is the way to go, which we don’t agree with.”
Girdler said that in most cases, differences between the ABC board and oversight committees can be taken up by the governor’s office or circuit court system to decide.
“Either way, we will defend our positions that monopolies are not good, and competition should be a way of life in this industry,” said Girdler. “We will actively represent Somerset and make sure our interests are heard.”

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