At Wednesday’s City Commission meeting, Commissioner Nancy Miller, who previously voted with Commissioner Curtis Richardson and Mayor Andrew Gillum to extend bar hours from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m., made a motion asking the Commission to reconsider that vote.
The motion to reconsider the vote passed 4-1. Commissioner Curtis Richardson was the lone vote against the motion. However, after the vote and later in the meeting, Commissioner Richardson changed his vote to reflect his desire to further discuss the issue. The issue will be revisited during the July 13th City Commission meeting.
On Wednesday, Commissioner Miller gave no reason for her motion to reconsider the decision.
However, since the 3-2 vote to extend bar hours, several things have occurred that could have prompted the reconsideration.
First, FDLE released crime statistics for 2015 which indicated Leon County was ranked No. 1 in crime rate in the state of Florida for the second consecutive year.
Second, City Attorney Lew Shelley told TR the new ordinance may have created a situation that presents enforcement challenges for the Tallahassee Police Department. You can read our report here.
And third, Commissioner Gil Ziffer, less than two weeks ago, described the extended bar hours as a “very bad decision” when asking officials to explain how Tallahassee would deal with an attack like the one that took place in Orlando.
During the debate on extending bar hours back in January of this year, Commissioner Maddox and Ziffer argued that public safety resources could be stressed with later operating hours during a time when the City is struggling with crime issues.
Commissioner Richardson and Miller argued the earlier closing time would have a negative impact on jobs. However, Commissioner Miller and Commissioner Richardson never directly addressed the public safety issue and Mayor Gillum made statements that indicated it was not an overriding concern.