Posted at: 08/20/2012 12:07 PM
| Updated at: 08/20/2012 11:17 PM
By: Beth Wurtmann
Photo Credit: Beth Wurtmann
ALBANY - "Ho ho! Hey hey! We don't want no Cabaret! Ho ho! Hey hey! We don't want no Cabaret!
Marching to Albany's City Hall, bar owners, entertainers and their supporters rallied Monday night against new restrictions in Albany's Cabaret law, that cut off live entertainment by midnight on week nights, and 2am on weekends.
"My crowd comes out late and if this 12-midnight during the week and two a.m. thing goes into effect my business will be shot," said Michael Kohn, Albany DJ.
The law was passed in the Spring, requiring businesses to apply for an annual permit before putting on live entertainment. But when the first permits were issued last week, these protestors were surprised and outraged to see the new restrictions on time and age, suggesting that the limits were snuck in to reign in noise and safety concerns.
"I completely disagree with that characterization I don't think it was sneaky at all. Everyone looked at it, the different departments, the city clerk and all the Common Council members who get to look at all the applications," said Jeffery Jamison, Albany Director of Building and Regulatory Compliance.
Lawmakers got an earful of complaints on both sides of the issue during the public comment period of their meeting Monday.
"We supported the cabaret process for the possibility of more music venues properly regulated in the City of Albany," said Richard Berkley, of the Hudson/Park Neighborhood Association.
"The law makes no sense. We need your help to overturn this law immediately. We need our jobs, our clubs and we need our gathering places," said Shawn Gillie, a DJ.
At least one lawmaker agreed with protestors, saying the new restrictions are going to hurt business.
"We're talking about a domino affect if we don't straighten this out, bars are going to close. People are gonna lose jobs," said Ronald Bailey, 3rd Ward Council Member.