As published in the April 1, 2010 Post-Gazette and posted here at the request of the author.
The following letter is in response to Phil Orlandella’s editorial in the Regional Review dated March 29, 2011 “NEWNC SUPPORTS OF 2 AM CLOSURE-WRONG.”
Being on the NEWNC is not an easy job. As a council member, our aim is to make the best decisions for the well being of the North End. In this case of The Living Room, many people were upset over the NEWNC vote for a 2AM license. At that particular meeting the Nazzaro Center was full with supporters for the Living Room 2AM closing. I was very impressed by the way John Hauck the owner of 101 (Living Room) presented himself. He came well prepared.
All that said, I ask myself “Where were the abutters that constantly complain about late closing hours? The other half of the Nazzaro Center should have been packed with North End residents from 145 Commercial Street; Mercantile Building; Atlantic Avenue and Fulton Street. Where were the residents stating their case in opposition of the 2 AM closing? This meeting was just as important if not more important as street cleaning; park and safety committees.
Our job is to listen to both sides and come up with a fair decision based on the facts presented at the meeting. One fact remains is that the Living Room presented a solid case and the opposition’s presence was not strong. One abutter came to that meeting; only ONE. I can’t speak on behalf of other council members that voted, but I have to believe if the North End residents in that area attended the meeting it may have altered my vote.
I for one do not represent the entire North End nor would I speak on behalf of the entire North End. As a council member my job is to listen to all sides and vote based on the facts presented at the meetings. This job on the council is entirely volunteer. It’s not an easy job but it’s a job that I take great pride
In closing, I hope that readers will try harder to attend meetings that directly affect your quality of life. It’s your job to make us aware of what your needs are. I disagree with Phil’s editorial, “just because you give it to one, you have to give it to all.” That isn’t true. Each decision is based on the facts presented for each case. I recommend that residents who feel they deserve the best quality of life should speak up and be heard. Your voice does count and only you can make a difference.
NEWNC Vice President