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Buddy’s Heads To Circuit Court

| April 24, 2009, 06:10 PM | 9 Comments

Annapolis’ Alcoholic Beverage Commission Denys Buddy’s Renewal

Well, if nothing else, the Board was prepared.  After continuing the hearing on Wednesday, the Board was prepared to not listen to any new testimony. As a matter of fact, they let the attorney’s from Buddy’s introduce an approximate 60 page document supporting their case and took a ten minute recess to “read it”. Some members leafed through it, and others just sat there in silence for the time to be up. Then, after all promising that they read it thoroughly, Leonard Berman, the Vice-Chair passed out a prepared motion

Annapolis City Denied Buddy's Renewal Of Liquor License

Annapolis City Denied Buddy's Renewal Of Liquor License

denying Buddy’s their renewal…in quintuplicate–at least!

So, you tell me how an appointed board is serving the citizens of Annapolis when they had no intention of listening to the defense of a long time city business?  As a matter of fact, the ABC’s one ally in the audience, Alderman Dick Israel came to the meeting with a copy of the motion!

During the hearing, it became evident that the ABC board was essentially clueless as to what they had or had not done for the previous 20 plus years. They had no problem issuing a 2am license to Buddy’s for the past 15 years, but all of a sudden, it is a problem.  In Wednesday’s meeting, Chairman Charles Grayston, said he was required to follow the law. My question is why did he feel he was exempt from following the law for the past 25 years he has served on the Board.  It also begs the question how effective is a City appointed commission that surreptitiously follows laws…or doesn’t.

An <strike>Annapolis ABC Board Member</strike> Kangaroo holds court

Australia? Or Annapolis?

This was a true Kangaroo Court and Buddy’s was railroaded and now will appeal the decision to the Circuit Court. Hopefully the Circuit Court will at least listen to the evidence presented instead of coming into the trial with a predetermined verdict.

The City should be ashamed of the appointments. Chairman Grayson was appointed in 1984 and has been serving for longer than Buddy’s has been in business. Has it taken that long to jump start is brain–or short circuit it?  His cohort in collusion and Vice Chair Leonard Berman has been serving since 1991. The other members have served since 1992 (Elizabeth Finkle, who offered nothing in the hearing today), 2007 (Gerald Everett) and 2008 (Lawrence Harris, Jr., whose only word today was “aye”). As I looked at the Board, it dawned on me that the collective age of this Board likely predates the City’s charter 300 years ago.

Folks, it is time for a change. some of these people are up for reappointment (it is unclear about Finkle since the City’s website says she expired in 2008) and we need to let our new Mayor know that businesses and residents make up our great City and when you have a commission such as this who refuses to listen to evidence and makes a mockery of any judicial system, we all lose.

Congratulations Annapolis, you may have just landed another lawsuit! Good thing you got a settlement for the botched police station!

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About the Author - John Frenaye

John is the publisher and editor of Eye On Annapolis. As a resident and business owner in Anne Arundel County for nearly 25 years, he realized that there was something missing in terms of community news–and Eye On Annapolis was born in late spring 2009.

John’s background is in the travel industry as a business owner, industry speaker, and travel writer. In terms of blogging and social media, he cut his teeth with MSNBC.com.

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Comments (9)

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  1. SevernaPark Guy says:

    Wow…just wow. As I said before how people in Annapolis put up with these people is beyond me. Feel very sorry for Buddy’s. I hope they fight this in court.

  2. Jesse Barron says:

    The ABC needs to be investigated. I would be curious to know if anyone in the ABC was bribed and/or is offering political favors. Things just aren’t adding up.

    Jesse Barron’s last blog post..Soldier Found Dead in Annapolis

  3. Karen E says:

    Look, this is a glass half-full/half-empty perspective issue: Buddy’s should be grateful that they had this 2:00 a.m. thing going on (for HOW many years now?).

    But they and their small handful of friends/family posting here should realize that by going to a 12:00 a.m. closing time, they may finally stop pissing off us residents and, hey, we may even start patronizing the place again!

    And, really, the childish name-calling & attacks on the ABC here aren’t exactly winning over residents who have had to put up with Buddy’s hardball tactics all these years!

  4. Eye Spy says:

    I am a supporter of Buddy’s and I can understand the animosity of the residents that live nearby. I think it is misguided, but I understand it.

    But the solution is to get the laws changed legally. What happened here is that a long time business was railroaded out of their 2am license.

    I am not sure if you attended either hearing, but I did and the Board had zero intention of listening to anything Buddy’s counsel presented, much less taking it under consideration.

    The Chair of the Board is on his last year, was this a “going away present”? Was it a get even tactic because Buddy’s exercised their legal rights before and prevailed?

    I don;t know, but I do question why the same Board approved the same license and only NOW are deciding that according to “law” it is not legal. It sort of begs the question why they had no knowledge of this “law” for the past 15 years.

    Unfortunately for the business and the majority of Annapolitans (and fortunately for the Board) they have a bully pulpit and have no problem using it. They refused to let Counsel address the Board on Friday and just gave some lip service while taking nothing into consideration.

  5. Jesse Barron says:

    It is bad to make assumptions, Karen.
    What makes you think I am a “friend” of Buddy’s? I’ve never been there. I do not personally know the owners.
    Perhaps the issue is shady politics?

    Jesse Barron’s last blog post..Annapolis Painting Services Owner Pleads Guilty

  6. Jesse Barron says:

    Better yet, why are you blindly defending the ABC and trying to squash any talk of their shadiness? Do you think it is proper to hold a public hearing, only having made your decision up before hand, and to ignore public input? It seems to kind of defeat the purpose.

    Or is the real issue that you do not like the establishment, are happy with the decision and do not care how they got to it? Are you willing to overlook everything that was done incorrectly because it is most convenient to your position?

    Imagine if one of family members got arrested and the judge and jury decided their fate before the trial even took place. Would you support that? Your argument says that you would.

    Jesse Barron’s last blog post..Annapolis Painting Services Owner Pleads Guilty

  7. Joe says:

    The above article, Eye Spy, and Jesse hit the nail on the head! I was at both hearings and it went exactly as the above article stated! And, Karen…the “small” group that you refer to was not so small when many residents and local business owners were there to support Buddy’s! That definitely proves to me that you couldn’t have been present! Why does the Blonder family have so many supporters? It’s not because they’re paying them all off! Do you personally know any of the paricipants…any of the Blonders…any members of the ABC? Do you have any personal experience with the issue at hand? Or, does your knowledge come from what you’ve read or heard? Or, are you bored, and get joy in commenting? That was completely a rhetorical question based on your comments!

  8. Joe says:

    Furthermore! When the Blonders’ attorney was presenting her case…the panel members’ faces were hard to describe! I remember watching the Roger Rabbit movie when it came out in the theaters. There was an amazing seen where all of the kitchen knives were flying staight at Roger Rabbit’s face! To me, it was the funniest part of the movie! The look on Roger Rabbit’s face was the best way I can describe the look on the panel members’ faces when the Blonders’ attorney presented her case! They were all completely anxious and confused…or there are five Academy awards due!

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