Thursday, December 22, 2005

Plainly Untenable

As we reported yesterday the City Council did come to an agreement with the Mayor's office on his noise bill, and passed it at the last Stated Meeting of the year, when the administration removed the "plainly audible" clause that would have given all of the city's bars and clubs "kick me" signs to wear. As Stephanie Gaskell writes in today's NY Post, "But bar owners said the term "plainly audible" was much too vague and feared it would allow cops to target them unfairly."The best comment came from bar owner Sandee Wright who owns the Whiskey Ward bar on the Lower East Side, "If we want to comply with the law, we have to know what the law is."

Apparently the Bloomberg administration agreed to the extent that it was willing to delete the nettlesome provision in the proposed code. According to today's NY Times Commissioner Emily Lloyd, "said the administration had dropped the proposal after the nightlife industry protested that the standard was too subjective. The administration also agreed to define what constituted ubreasonable noise under the current standard."

This was, as we have said, the basis of the outpouring of opposition to the mayoral proposal and its removal, along with some of the fine provisions, is a big victory for a much-maligned but vital small business sector in this city. Once again, major props to NYNA president David Rabin and its general counsel Rob Bookman who skillfully made the industry's case and mobilized enough Council opposition to force yesterday's compromise.