Friday, Oct. 15, 2004
City Council extends deadline to get alcohol handling permits
By J. FRANK LYNCH
Peachtree City has extended the compliance date for requiring the employees of all bars and restaurants in the city to obtain Alcohol Beverage Handling Permits until Dec. 1.
In a meeting Oct. 7, the City Council heard Police Chief James Murray explain that the equipment the city ordered to produce the ID badges was late arriving.
It will also take additional time to collect the applications and the fingerprints of the applicants, said Murray.
The City Council voted earlier this year to require background checks and the photo ID badges for anyone serving alcohol in the city. Its modeled after a similar program adopted in Fayetteville several years ago that has proven very successful.
But the background checks have had an unintended affect on the local food and beverage workforce, say two local business owners.
Sonny and Donna Ishmael sent a letter to the city last week expressing concern that the new ordinance denies the permits to persons convicted in the past two years on the charge Minor in Possession of Alcohol.
Young people who have been loyal employees for many years will lose their jobs, the Ishmaels wrote. These people have already been punished for their crime. Is it fair to take away their jobs as well?
Dozens of our citys servers will be affected by this law, they said. Many Peachtree City restaurants will be hurt by this decision. The labor market is quite thin for this industry already.
But Chief Murray balked at that claim and pointed out that the ordinance allows for anyone to take a customers drink order.
Then just let somebody else take the drink out to the table, he suggested.
Besides, Murray continued, Why would you want somebody who had been convicted of minor in possession to be handling alcohol for your establishment anyway?
The council agreed to extend the compliance date to Dec. 1 but refused to consider the Ishmael's request.
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