Nightlife Post-Veto

Caught up with Sally Clark recently for a little nightlife debrief post-veto. The mayor last month axed the council's plan to delay for a year the implementation of a nightlife license (a version that was a little friendlier to bar and club owners than his proposal.) It was only the second veto of Nickels' administration. The legislation also would've created a new commission to help oversee the nightlife licensing, which the mayor in his veto message called "a waste of time."

Clark says she's not going to try to "slam back the veto." (She'd need six votes.) But she may try to resurrect the commission idea even without the license. She called the mayor's comment about it being a waste of time "unfortunate." "There seems to still be some interest in establishing some forum where we have better conversations about this between the residents and the bar owners," she says. "Have good people turning out to say what they think should and should not happen. This issue is not going away."

Indeed, over the weekend, the PI reported that Tabella may get its license yanked in part because of the mayor's August sting, Operation Sobering Thought.

Clark says she's not mad about the veto, but she is frustrated that the plan approved by council amounted to a stall tactic. "I don't think the final product was great," she says. "The idea of let's wait a year and decide again seems unnecessary. It feeds into the cynicism people have about the Seattle Process. It's let's see what we can do to not make a decision. ...At the end of the day it's disappointing to have that amount of work go in and not have the product you want come out."

The council in August approved pieces of Clark's nightlife package, including changes to the city's noise and nuisance codes and a creation of a nightlife unit to respond to resident complaints. These changes will go forward.

Clark says she'll likely revisit the commission idea in a few weeks, once the council's wrapped up the budget.

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