MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF LICENSE COMMISSIONERS
OF CECIL COUNTY
The Board of License Commissioners of Cecil County met in a regular session at the County Administrative Building, Conference Room, 200 Chesapeake Boulevard, Elk Room, Elkton, MD on Wednesday, April 25, 2012 at 9:15 A.M.
PRESENT: Tim Snelling, Chairman
William Gerweck, Commissioner
Carrie L. Taylor, Commissioner
H. Norman Wilson, Jr., Esquire
Earl R. Bradford, Chief Alcohol Beverage Inspector
Chairman Snelling stated he would like to recognize someone we recently lost, part-time Inspector John Reinhart. He asked for a moment of silence in his honor.
LICENSE APPLICATIONS – NEW AND TRANSFER
TRANSFER AND RECLASSIFICATIONApplication received from Danielle Lee Contreras, Partner; Santiago Contreras, Partner; T/A Uno Poco De Mexico, 801 East Pulaski Highway, Suite 131, Elkton, MD for transfer and reclassification of Class "B" Beer, Wine & Liquor Alcoholic Beverage License No. B-90 from Ramesh C. Kataria, President; Jasota R. Kataria, Secretary/Treasurer; Kataria, Inc. T/A JR's Discount Liquors, 127 Village at Elkton, E. Pulaski Highway, Elkton, MD 21921
Danielle Contreras appeared before the Board; the applicant was duly sworn by the Clerk. Mr. Wilson read the public notice which appeared on dates of Wednesday, April 11 and April 18, 2012. The fully executed application packet with proper fees included: Zoning Certificate signed by J. Craig Trostle, Jr.; signatures of 10 registered voters and property owners in District 3-1; Alcohol Awareness Training; Certification Form stating the nature of the business will be Open 930 AM – 830 PM M-Th/Friday/Saturday 930 AM – 900 PM Sunday 930-8PM Any alcohol sales need ID; Validation for Sunday Sales requesting off-premise sales; Worker's Compensation form stating self-employed. Mr. Wilson asked each applicant if the information submitted on the application is true today as when they signed it March 4, 2012, the applicant stated yes. Mrs. Contreras stated they will have take out purchases only. With no further questions or comments, Commissioner Taylor made a motion to approve the transfer and reclassification of the license conditioned upon settlement occurring and the issuance of the Bulk Transfer Permit; Commissioner Gerweck seconded that motion and the Board then voted unanimously to approve the application for the transfer and reclassification of the license.
Application received from Samuel L. Romero, T/A North East Chuckhouse, 2440 Pulaski Highway, North East, MD 21901 for issuance of a new Class "B" Beer & Light Wine Alcoholic Beverage License.
Samuel Romero appeared before the Board; the applicant was duly sworn by the Clerk. Mr. Wilson read the public notice which appeared on dates of Wednesday, April 11 and April 18, 2012. The fully executed application packet with proper fees included: Zoning Certificate signed by Betsy Vennell, Director of Planning, Town of North East with on-premises sales restriction.; signatures of 10 registered voters and property owners in District 5-4; Alcohol Awareness Training; Certification Form stating the nature of the business will be restaurant; Validation for Sunday Sales requesting on-premises sales; Worker's Compensation form. Mr. Wilson asked each applicant if the information submitted on the application is true today as when they signed it March 22, 2012, the applicant stated yes. Mr. Romero stated he has an outdoor area they use for crabs and would like permission to serve alcohol out there. With no further questions or comments, Commissioner Gerweck made a motion to approve the issuance of the license; Commissioner Taylor seconded that motion and the Board then voted unanimously to approve the application for the issuance of the license.
Application received from Bryan W. McDonaugh, John Rinkers, Edward Trainer, 200 West Cherry Street, LLC, T/A Nauti-Goose, 200 West Cherry Street, North East, MD 21901 for transfer of Class "B" Beer, Wine & Liquor Alcoholic Beverage License No. B-61 from John Rinkers; Anthony Harvey; Edward Trainer; Wilgro Holding, LLC, T/A Nauti-Goose, 200 Cherry Street, North East, MD 21901 - POSTPONED
CATERING EVENT – OTHER OPTIONSChuck Henze appeared before the Board to inquire what type of license would suit what he is doing. First, Mr. Henze thanked the Board for their approval for the event from last weekend. After a discussion, Mr. Wilson stated he could install a fully operational kitchen and apply for a Class "B" license or apply for a Class "D" license.
WINE PROMOTIONKevin Atticks - POSTPONED
VIOLATIONSConstance M. Pawley, Member; 1190 Augustine Herman LC, Licensee; Francis P. Connors, Robert J. Ewing, CEO, Liberty Management, Lease Managers; T/A Bittersweet Golf Club @ Brantwood, 1190 Augustine Herman Highway, Elkton, MD 21921
(Official transcript available upon request with proper payment of fees)
Francis "Bud" Connors appeared before the Board; he, Chief Bradford, Inspectors Bielert and Reynolds and several members of the audience were duly sworn by the Clerk. It was discussed how they should proceed; Mr. Connors stated he would like to proceed with evidence presented. Commissioner Gerweck made a motion for the Board go into Executive Session to discuss the matter, Commissioner Taylor seconded that motion. After a lengthy discussion, Mr. Wilson stated that because the licensee was not present and they did not have an approved lease management agreement, they would continue on an agreed statement of fact. Chief Bradford read the list of violations and a summary of the inspectors' reports into the record; he stated he would be submitting the file folder with the correspondence, reports, photos, etc. as evidence, as well as the transcript from the December 28, 2011 Board meeting. Mr. Connors apologized to the residents for all of the trouble occurring; he stated his shoulders are big enough to accept the blame and not point fingers.
Commissioner Gerweck made a motion for the Board go into Executive Session to discuss the matter, Commissioner Taylor seconded that motion.
BOARD DECISION: According to the charging document dated January 14, 2012 and the evidence presented the Board finds that you are guilty as charged and based upon this finding does hereby imposes a fine of $1,000.00 plus costs of the proceedings of $250.00.
According to the charging document dated March 13, 2012 and the evidence presented, relating to all charges except the noise complaints, the Board finds that you are guilty as charged and based upon this finding does hereby imposes a fine of $1,000.00.
According to the charging document dated March 13, 2012, specifically the noise complaints, the Board finds that you are guilty as charged and based upon this finding hereby suspends the alcoholic beverage license for 30 days.
Mr. Wilson stated the Chief Inspector and Ms. Coyle are working on the letter stating the Board's decision for the licensees, so they will continue without them.
PROTEST OF RENEWAL OF LICENSE
Chairman Snelling asked if there was anyone who wished to say anything; Fred McDonald stated since November, the neighborhood has been going through this. He stated over the past month, they have calmed down a bit. Commissioner Gerweck asked Mr. Connors how he will run it in the future; Mr. Connors stated he will go back to how it was last year, weddings; banquets and hire a manager. He stated Lisa Welch handles the catering for him; he stated right now the bar's not open; he has golf carts in the banquet hall, because the shed leaks. Commissioner Gerweck asked 'very bluntly what are the odds of you making it doing business this way? Mr. Connors stated 'we were making it May and June. Bittersweet doesn't have the reputation it had in the past. The odds are 50/50. I've been there a year and a half, invested a lot of money; strictly golf/golf carts. Obviously I'm trying to make my money back.'
Mary McDonald, 10 Augusta Drive, stated she doesn't have a problem with the golf course, and doesn't want to see them go out of business. She believes the person leasing the golf course had no idea what was going on and that's just not right.
Pat Conway, Director of Cecil County Office of Permits & Inspections stated his office cited the golf course for not having a Change of Use; he stated they were notified Mary Halsey is no longer the resident agent for the golf course, Attorney Will Riddle is. Improvements have been done without permits; inspections need to be done. Chairman Snelling asked if there is any construction being done at this time; Mr. Connors stated no.
Eileen Viars, 484 Elk Forest Road; stated she does not want to see them go out of business, but this noise has affected everyone.
Mr. Wilson stated 'we have attempted to serve Ms. Pawley under the Rules & Regulations, we like to inform the licensee prior to making the Board's decision public; however our inspectors were unable to find Ms. Pawley and normally we would send the letter to the licensee at 1190 Augustine Herman Highway and a representative would sign for it,' with this in mind, he allowed Mr. Connors to sign for the letter and Chairman Snelling read the letter regarding the Board's decision on the violation hearing. Commissioner Gerweck made a motion to approve the renewal, however, all fines will need to be paid, $2,250 for fines due to the violations; taxes cleared; the renewal of $2,050 plus $800 in late fees, will need to bring everything into compliance including submitting a signed copy of the lease management agreement between the 1190 Augustine Herman LC and Liberty Management; straighten out the resident agent within 60 days and the Board will review in 60 days to ensure compliance. Mr. Connors stated his wife is working on the taxes and that part will be taken care of, however, he is not laying out all of this cash and is done.
Commissioner Gerweck read into the record a letter received from Robert Valliant Jones, P.A. regarding his displeasures of Delegate Michael Smiegel, P.A.
Harold Mechanic, 694 McKinneytown Road stated he would like to address an incident on November 10 at the Chesapeake Inn; he continued he has submitted this to the Ethics Board and received a decision from them, that they will not address it and there is no issue; Mr. Wilson told him this is not the forum for this and if he had a decision from the Ethics Board that is his answer and should leave it at that.
· Approve Minutes
The minutes from the March 31, 2012 meeting were approved.
· Catering Events
· Change of Officers
Chief Bradford presented the following list of Changes of Officers and the Board approved:
o Chesapeake Wine & Spirits
o Happy 40 Liquors
o Moose Lodge 851
o Perryville Fire Company
o Plaza Tapatia
o VFW Memorial Post 6027
o Weaver's Liquors
Tim Snelling, Chairman
Robin S. Coyle, Administrative Assistant