Bar ordinance faces citizen scrutiny at council meeting - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Bar ordinance faces citizen scrutiny at council meeting

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

A frustrated standing-room-only crowd of approximately 200 citizens crowded into the Hattiesburg train depot Monday night. They were asking, demanding and pleading that the current bar ordinance drawn up and proposed by Mayor Johnny DuPree's administration be changed.

It was a meeting meant to be an informative exchange between bar and club owners, but held at the Depot to accommodate the citizens - and bar patrons - who were likely to come and lend support to local business owners that stand to be affected.

At points folks shouted at the council from their seats or from the walls against which they leaned.

More than a dozen business owners spoke, each using different tacks to convey their point; that their business will flail - if not sink - if the ordinance, as it stands, is passed.

Members of the fire and police departments stepped in between bar owners trying to clarify points in an ordinance that, at the end of the more than hour-long meeting, were still ambiguous to many in the crowd.

"I'm very concerned for the people like Shuckers, and a lot of these clubs that are downtown," said City Council President Kim Bradley. "To force security people on them first is stupid because they don't need it, and number two, you're asking them to spend money that they shouldn't have to spend. We don't want that to happen to anybody."

Bradley said that it would not happen.

"Not as long as this council that's here today, that's not - that will not happen. I can assure you of that. No."

Copyright 2012 WDAM. All rights reserved.

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