Comprehensive review of Providence Board of Licenses released
By Ana Bottary
The Providence Board of Licenses would have to undergo a big overhaul, to follow all of the recommendations made by a comprehensive review released Monday.
"There is a lack of consistency, there is a board attacks very significant issues for the business community of this city, as well as for the livability of the neighborhoods and the safety," says Former Attorney General Jeff Pine.
Pine was asked by the Providence City Council to conduct this six-month review, which is the first of it’s kind for the Providence BOL.
"We commissioned the report largely because we were concerned that the Board of Licenses operations was not performing effectively or efficiently," says Councilwoman Jo-Ann Ryan.
The report comes on the heels of a series of violent incidents at providence nightclubs, most notably the Van Gogh lounge and Aqua. Both been closed down by the board of licenses.
"By insuring that the board has the tools they need and the training that they need to regulate these businesses and control the activities that happen in the clubs," adds Councilwoman Ryan.
The report found a number of issues. To name a few, a lack of consistency in penalties and how violations are handled, hearings that are too informal and disorganized and record-keeping systems that aren’t up to date Board Chair Juan Pichardo says he hasn’t yet reviewed the report.
"We want to make sure we work with the administration and city council to ensure that the proper setting in place," says Pichardo.
Among the suggestions made in the report preventing elected officials from serving on the board and launching an independent audit. The city council is expected to ask the mayor to implement those recommendations, at their meeting on Thursday.