License Commission Likely to Adopt Public Comment Period

Attorney Joseph C. Edwards, chairman of the Haverhill License Commission.

Attorney Joseph C. Edwards, chairman of the Haverhill License Commission.

The Haverhill License Commission, which regulates liquor sales and automobile dealerships in the city, is considering adding a public comment period to its meetings.

Commission Chairman Joseph C. Edwards Thursday night proposed adding time for residents to speak at the end of regular meetings.

“At the conclusion of our regular business at the license commission, we should have time available to the public who want to come in and tell about their ideas, their thoughts about what is happening in the city as it concerns anything related to the license commission,” Edwards said.

Edwards said public comment periods have been standard agenda items on other government boards where he has served.

“As a matter of fact, having served in the past on the Methuen City Council, board of trustees at Northern Essex Community College and chairman of the Essex Agricultural and Technical High School for 14 years, we’ve always had time at the end of our meetings for the public to come in and speak. I think it is part of the American way of doing things that we have public time available.”

Edwards proposal won endorsement from his fellow License Commissioners Gerald A. Sewell and Tim Coco and will be formally presented as an agenda item in September.

In other license commission business:

Team Haverhill was granted a one-day wine and malt only license for its Saturday, Sept. 24 River Ruckus event in downtown Haverhill.

Tim Jordan, representing Team Haverhill, said the “beer garden” will be placed, as it has in years past, behind the Tap Restaurant, between noon and 8 p.m. He said downtown businesses have endorsed the plan.

On a motion by Coco, the commission required patrons drink beer only within the immediate confines of the serving area, Team Haverhill agree to police detail officers and no structures be erected that would block the river views of Washington Street businesses. In the event of rain, commissioners permitted beer sales the following day.

Commissioners also granted a one-day all-alcoholic license to the League of Women Voters of Greater Haverhill for a high school scholarship fundraiser Friday, Sept. 30, from 6 to 11 p.m., at Winnekenni Castle. The league was represented by Carole Stanley Pelchat.

Commissioners rejected a request by Joseph DiFraia, manager of Chit Chat Lounge, 101-103 Washington St., to allow underage performers to appear without parents or guardians present. Members acted on the recommendation of Police Chief Alan R. DeNaro.

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