Ask the Mayor: Businesses must be good neighbors, too

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Farm Forum

Q. People running the bar next door to my business have been unable to control their drinkers as they leave the bar and I’m finding broken glass, trash and even vomit in front of my store and in the alley in back. This has happened all too frequently. What can I do about this?

A. The best solution would be talking with the bar owners and getting them to agree that they have a responsibility for the problem and need to do something.

If that fails, put together a photographic record of what is happening and contact the police and/or the city nuisance officers.

There is some acceptance that bar owners are not legally responsible for what their customers do after they leave the building (unless the bar employees have knowingly overserved them). However, there is also an understanding that the liquor license renewal process can bring properties managed irresponsibly into close scrutiny.

If it is obvious and demonstrable that patrons of a particular bar are repeatedly causing problems in the immediate vicinity of the bar, the license can be in jeopardy. Before revocation becomes necessary, police and code officers would try to educate and persuade the bar owners to take some preventative action.

If there is still no cooperation and the problem persists, concerned citizens can be heard at the public hearings for any license renewal.

Short term labor available

As reported by the American News, the Day Labor office, previously known as the Rent-A-Kid office, has changed its name again. Now it is the Short Term Labor office and will be at the South Dakota Department of Labor building at 420 S. Roosevelt St.

The program’s services have provided an easy answer for me to respond to questions posed for this column.

Larry Lorenzen, the longtime manager of the program, has retired and the functions will be rolled in with other department services.

Thousands have benefited from Lorenzen’s efforts connecting people who want to work with those who need some help. His diligence in checking on the quality of the work and the attitude of the workers established a standard for accountability and reliability.

Numerous workers who started with these one-day jobs have expanded into successful small business operations mowing lawns and doing snow removal.

Property owners who are quick to offer sometimes pretty lame excuses for failing to comply with city ordinances can almost always solve the problem quickly and inexpensively by calling that number.

Many would be surprised and happy to find out what is available.

Aberdeen Mayor Mike Levsen’s views are his own and don’t necessarily represent those of other city officials. Send your questions to askthemayor@aberdeennews.com.