Licensing Board takes heat over liquor license hearing

The City of Everett License Commission printed a legal notice in the Herald Leader News and Gazette last week about a new license about to be granted at 13 School Street for a place to be known as Backpackers Pub.

Because it is a new license, the public disclosure is legally required.

However, how are those interested in attending the hearing to know where it is if an address isn’t put in the legal notice?

There was no address given.

A time was listed and a date – June 28 at 7:15 p.m.

Residents interested in the proceeding likely knew the meeting was held at city hall Monday night and naturally went up to the room where the Licensing Board meets.

In fact, there was a meeting convened by the Licensing Board Monday evening but the Backpackers request was put off due to a legal notice that was incomplete.

According to an official of the Licensing Board, the public hearing will be re-advertised because of the failure to publish an address with the notice.

Frankly, it doesn’t matter.

The license will be given as a matter of protocol to Representative Stat Smith, the owner of the property.

He appeared at the hearing – which was not held – and spoke at it.

Smith holds a great deal of power over the folks at city hall and on the Licensing Board, which is apparently set to approve the license. Also, when the mayor doesn’t chime in against a license from being granted, the license gets approved.

In this instance, the granting of this license isn’t going to have a great deal of effect on the neighborhood, although the licensed location is close to a school.

However, some city hall observers who wished to remain unnamed said they were put off a bit by Smith placing his wife’s name on the liquor license as manager of the drinking location instead of his own name.

Judith Locke-Smith is the designated manager of the pub, in a building which is apparently owned by Rep. Smith.

The hearing on the issuance of the liquor license is being re-advertised and is tentatively expected to be held on July 19th at city hall in Room 22.

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