All the players were there: Mayor David Raven and all the City Councillors seated around the Council table; all the senior City staff; the local media; and, seated at the foot of the table hoping to they’ll see their way clear to saying “yes” to his wine bar proposal was Benoit Doucet.
Clutched in his hand was a sheaf of papers bearing the signatures of 950 people who thought the City should endorse his application for a wine bar.
You’d think 950 signatures would carry some real weight. After all, the very same Councillors were quite quick to say “no” to his proposal two weeks ago when they received a petition from just 110 people.
But, no. This time Councillors and staff were very quick to claim that petitions — unless, of course, they control them — aren’t somehow valid. That was something they — oops! — forgot to bring up last time. (In this case, the more than 50 letters and comments to The Current and even The Times Review don’t count, either. If you want your opinion on this issue to count you have to send it straight to City Hall — no meddling media middlemen please! But we at The Current sincerely hope that you will CC it to us, as well. All comments will be published.)
The upshot for would-be wine bar owner Benoit Doucet is that his petition is worthless and Council now wants to hear directly from local citizens who either support or oppose his application for a liquor primary licence.
This new “process” as bureaucrats like to call it demands that people send a written letter or an e-mail directly to the City before April 30, at which point municipal officials will report to Council, which will then mull over the responses and decide what to do.
This all sounds very tedious and bureaucratic but Doucet is willing to go along with it. He told Council he wants a solution that works for everyone.
He told Council he has no intention of opening a pub as he knows wine — not beer. His establishment would be open from 3 pm until midnight and would also serve food.
“There’s a lot of concern that it would turn into a night club,” he told Council. “That’s not possible under the liquor licencing rules.”
Asked by Councillor Chris Johnston what he would do “If I’m a rowdy person and have been expelled from the Regent,” Doucet said he wouldn’t be allowed in.
If you’d like to see Council do the right thing and endorse — or not endorse — his application for a liquor licence please send your e-mail to Laurie Donato, the City’s Manager of Development Services, in the Planning Department at: firstname.lastname@example.org.Please be sure to include your address. The City will want to know that you are actually a Revelstoke resident.
If you’d like to CC it to The Current please cut-and-paste this e-mail address email@example.com into the CC field on the e-mail form. The Current will not include your address in its continually updated list of comments.
You can also drop off a hand-written letter at City Hall, again addressed to Ms. Donato, or send it via Canada Post to:
City of Revelstoke,
Box 170 – 216 Mackenzie Avenue,