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Peralta urges Assembly to pass legislation that would give Community Boards more tools to deal with problem bars

Roosevelt Ave. (Doug Letterman)

Aug. 30, 2017 By Tara Law

State Senator Jose Peralta (D-Elmhurst) is calling on the Assembly to pass a bill that would help the community keep tabs on troublesome bars and shut them down as need be.

Peralta, who sponsored and passed such legislation in the state senate in June, said the bill would require the State Liquor Authority, or SLA, to work more closely with community boards.

The SLA would be required to create a liaison position to report to each community board. The liaison would keep each board informed as to liquor license hearings, renewals and other pertinent information.

The bill would also direct the SLA to conduct investigations of problem establishments at the bequest of community boards and other officials. The SLA would be required to set up a task force and report its findings to the community boards.

“Most bars, restaurants and clubs are law-abiding good neighbors, but there are a few bad apples that can disrupt and destroy a community’s quality of life,” said Peralta. “My proposal calls for a liaison between the SLA and community boards to prevent noisy and disruptive establishments from affecting the quality of life of the communities they are located in.”

The bill was introduced by Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Flushing) in June but was not voted on. Peralta is urging the Assembly to pass it.

Peralta described his motivation for the bill in two words: Roosevelt Avenue.

The avenue, he said, is saturated with bars, which attracts crime and disorderly conduct to the area. The street is one of his office’s biggest sources of complaints in the community.

Peralta said that greater oversight of these establishments is needed and that the SLA needs to listen to community and rein them in.

The same bars repeatedly receive citations, he said, but the SLA pays little attention to the public and renews their liquor licenses unless there is a major incident. He said that the SLA typically ignores community boards when they recommend rejecting a problem establishment’s license.

“The only time they pay attention is when something very bad happens,” Peralta said. “The rationale at the SLA is that unless there’s a huge public outcry, we’ll approve [applications].”

Peralta said that the bill would help community boards make their concerns about problem establishments known to the SLA. Ultimately, Peralta said, he would like to see the worst bars replaced with family-owned restaurants.

The first portion of the bill would create a state liquor community liaison position for each community board. The liaison would make sure that every community board receives notifications of license and permit applications, dispositions, renewals or changes.

The liaison would be required to attend community board meetings and inform the board of relevant SLA meetings and agendas. The liaison would also be required to submit reports and recommendations about each community board’s concerns to the SLA.

State Sen. Peralta

The second section of the bill would create a task force that would examine complaints from community boards and officials. It would also serve as a liaison between different government institutions, including the Department of Health and the Department of Consumer Affairs.

According to the bill, the task force would look into any “threat to the public health, safety, or welfare.”

The SLA would designate the members of the task force, including investigators from its Albany, Buffalo and New York City offices.

The bill would require that an investigation be started within 14 days of notification, and be completed within 45 days. As necessary, a disciplinary hearing would follow the investigation. A copy of disposition and determination would be delivered to the group that filed the notification, such as the community board, within ten days of completion.

Patrick O’Brien, the chair of the City Services and Public Safety Committee for Community Board 2, said that a task force would be “very significant and welcomed addition to the law.”

“It would permit [community boards] to compel SLA investigations where appropriate, and require the SLA to keep the [community boards] informed of what is happening in the investigation,” O’Brien wrote in an email.

Although the senate bill passed in June, it will have to be reintroduced and passed again in that chamber when the next legislative session begins in January. A bill must pass both the Assembly and the Senate during the same session, which typically goes from January through June, before it can be signed into law.

 

email the author: news@queenspost.com

6 Comments

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Anonymous

There is nothing wrong with bars on Roosevelt. Love Latino woman. So hot. Little shorts. Tight dresses. Tight tops. Oh boy!!! Yea boi!!!

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Lawrence Kenchen

Three thumbs up for Senator Peralta and the legislation giving more power to our community boards. Its good to know that I am represented by a politician who understands what is needed in Jackson Heights and has the nerve to push for it. Roosevelt Avenue has become a disgrace and something has to be done to clean it up. Northern Boulevard is not far behind. Jose has the guts and intelligence we need representing us in Albany and I look forward to his continued service to our neighborhood for years to come.

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Gary

Peralta is stabbing us in the back. He is getting kick backs to vote with republicans in Albany while he continues to grandstand down here in his district. Do Not be fooled by the idea of “cleaning up” an area. That just means he’s making deals with the real estate lobby and making it harder for small business and easier for corporate chains.

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Lawrence Kenchen

I am stunned by your comment. Peralta making deals in Albany to help our community is what his position and Albany is all about. Anyone who has worked in Albany as a lobbyist would know this. Nothing and I mean nothing gets done there without a deal. Senator Peralta’s main function aka his fiduciary duty is to Jackson Heights and its residents. Let me share this with everyone who views this site. Forget the party politics and the Republican vs. Democrat stuff such as my person won or loss the 2016 presidential race. We need to come together as residents of Jackson Heights and realize that the Senator joining the IDC helps get legislation passed in the NYS Senate. If you ever pushed a bill in Albany or any other political center you would recognize the wisdom and logic in his decision to caucus with the IDC. Regarding the Senator getting kickbacks I write “Bovine Manure.” Anyone following Albany politics knows that over the last few years Albany politicians have been going to jail faster than a New York Minute! Senator Peralta has been investigated several times on unfounded charges and has always been exhonerated. He always comes out clean and smelling like a rose! I am a life time resident of Jackson Heights and Northwest Queens. The entire area needs a lot of cleaning up and I see very few politicians doing much to get the job done, except for Senator Peralta. Look, my family helped build Ebenezer Baptist church on Prince street in Flushing in 1870 and has lived in this section of Queens for centuries. My concern is not about small mom and pop stores in the area. My concern is people being able to walk the streets without getting robbed and their heads bashed in. As far as Senator Peralta being in some major conspiracy with real estate big shots, I say more bovine manure. You know, major real estate folks do not cut many deals with persons of color.
Look, if your attack on Senator Peralta is because you are backing some other candidate for his seat, come clean and write that. If your issue is that you are entrenched in the democratic party, come clean and write that. If your issue is that you don’t like the fact that he caucuses with Republicans in Albany come clean and write that. If your problem is that you want to second guess the senator – who has worked in politics for many years – or think that he is corrupt or inept say that. I will say this and stand by it. Jackson Heights for years has been a bastion of racism and covert racist policies. This racism has been practiced by our politicians, relgious leaders, the police, the residents, real estate agents and small business owners. If you had mentioned a problem like that I may have supported your charge, but you didn’t. Know this, I do ‘t like the way the cost of living has rocketed up in the neighborhood.I also don’t like the fact that some people view Senator Peralta as a problem, but not the other politicians associated with Jackson Heights.This is particularly disturbing because he is the only one fighting the filth and crime invading our neighborgood. You have the right to exercize you 1st Amendment right to express your self. Realize one thing, there are those of us who see through the BS and are willing to exercize our 1st amendment right to disagree.
Best,
LK

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