Board rejects ban on minors in bars
By Gordon Dritschilo
Staff Writer | February 20,2013
The Board of Aldermen on Tuesday night approved two amendments to a proposed ordinance barring people under 21 from city bars before rejecting the entire ordinance.
The ordinance was designed to close a loophole under which The Local, a Rutland nightclub, had been holding 18-and-over parties. The city’s entertainment ordinance prohibits bars from admitting patrons under 21 on certain nights but not others. The new ordinance barred them completely.
The first of the two amendments, proposed by Alderman Gary Donahue created an exemption for people accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
This had the support of two other bar owners at the meeting, one of whom described families stopping in at his establishment for burgers on their way to Killington, another saying he sometimes had to bring his children with him while attending to his responsibilities as a business owner.
The second amendment, proposed by Alderman Thomas DePoy, created a process by which a bar owner could apply to the board for a one-time permit for an 18-and-over event, similar to a proposal made during the summer.
That amendment passed with Robinson joining Alderwoman Sharon Davis,
As debate returned to the underlying motion, Alderman Charles Romeo, who had voted for both amendments, said he would not support the proposal as amended because it now had too many exceptions built into it.
“I think those that are speaking about voting this down are losing sight of closing the loophole,” DePoy said, adding that his amendment only allowed for a process to create exceptions on “special occasions.”
“Defeating it leaves the loophole in place,” he said.
Romeo asked if DePoy’s amendment could be reintroduced as a stand-alone ordinance. City Attorney Andrew Costello said he did not see why not.