Wednesday, February 13, 2013
What's in a name?
Town Manager Musante, SB Chair Stephanie O'Keeffe, Pat Kamins at yesterday's meeting
"Permit," "license," or "business certificate" -- call it what you will, but the success of the much needed rental housing bylaw coming out of the endless meetings of the 'Safe & Healthy Neighborhoods' working group comes down to that simple concept.
Rental registration and licensing go together like auto registration and licensing. Can you imagine the problems if anyone, regardless of license, could drive a car simply because the vehicle was properly registered?
Member Pat Kamins (a mid-sized local landlord) sarcastically asks his fellow members to think about businesses in Amherst "that require licenses or permits that can be revoked if their customers act inappropriately."
Well first of all, think about all the businesses that are not in Amherst because their customers could act inappropriately: Strip bars, porn shops, head shops, etc.
In fact, the Board of Health crushed the 'Smoking Ban in Bars Revolt' (by the more rowdy bars) a dozen years ago by threatening to revoke food handling permits for not enforcing the smoking ban. Since alcohol licenses are tied to food handling permits, the bars quickly caved.
The rest, as they say, is history. And the town is immeasurably better for it.
Crowd of 20 showed up for last night's meeting Safe & Health Neighborhoods working group