June 25, 2024
Annapolis, US 69 F

Buddy’s Heads To Circuit Court

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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