Last year, Leon County, propelled by incidents in the City of Tallahassee, was ranked number one in the state in crime.
In addition, preliminary data for 2015 from FDLE indicates the crime rate continues to increase. Especially violent crime, like rape and aggravated assault.
So what does our City Commission do – expand the hours for night clubs and bars.
Are you kidding me?
Last week three members of the City Commission, Mayor Andrew Gillum, Commissioners Nancy Miller and Curtis Richardson – who seem to vote together a lot these days – voted to allow bars and night clubs to stay open until 4 a.m.
National study after national study has found that increasing bar hours puts more stress on public safety resources.
Here locally, police officers tell me – off the record – that the increase in hours will create more work for police officers – the kind of work we do not need!
What were these these three thinking?
Not about crime!
But it gets worse.
The decision by these three will affect the most important economic asset in our community: Florida State University.
Most college towns understand the need for a party life, but they also understand limits. Most bars and nightclubs close at 2 am.
But not in Tallahassee, thanks to Gillum, Miller and Richardson!
There are at least three bars in FSU’s College Town that will “benefit” from this change in closing times. And if what is going on until 2 a.m. continues until 4 a.m., FSU’s “brand” will really be enhanced.
For example, over the summer of 2015, BeatBox was introduced to Tallahassee at the Recess in College Town.
What is a BeatBox you ask? BeatBox holds five liters of booze and it carries a pop. It is 11.1% alcohol compared to 4% for light beer.
Under the extended hours, can you buy a BeatBox before 2 a.m. – when law requires bars to stop selling alcohol – and drink until the new closing time of 4 a.m.?
Take a look a the BeatBox introduction to Tallahassee. Warning: You may be offended.
And guess what? Your City tax dollars help support this through millions of dollars in tax breaks through the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA).
Yes, instead of a northside community center or sidewalks in neighborhoods that need them or lower fire service fees, we support this type of economic development with our tax dollars.
Does this look like the kind of economic development we want in our community?
And then there is this. The Coliseum, a night club that has been able to stay open until 4 a.m. due to a quirk in the law, has some very aggressive security guards handling a crowd last year.
Check out the security guard stomping on a patron.
Can we expect this kind of event at other nightclubs with the extended hours?
What were these three thinking?
Not about Tallahassee!
Bars and nightclubs should close at 2 a.m.