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April 17, 2003

Another Snafu Nearly Causes Drought At City's Golf Course

David 'Kip' Koontz

While the City of Frederick no longer has a water crisis, it narrowly averted the well running dry at the Clustered Spires Golf Course.


Because, according to city sources, the liquor license renewal, which is an annual occurrence - sort of like taxes - "went directly to the golf course" (Hello! It is in name of the corporation created for the golf course to acquire a liquor license!) and "was not turned around in a timely fashion," according to city spokeswoman Nancy Poss.


Wouldn't you think that something as important as the renewal of the liquor license would be something that someone would deem worthy of handling in the timeliest manner, especially since the bar brings in about half of the facility's revenue each year?

Apparently not!

In order to expedite the renewal of the license as it was about to expire, former city attorney, N. Lynn Board, who has asked and been promised that her name would be removed from the license, was called on in the clutch to once again (she did so last year as well) put pen to paper to keep the alcohol flowing.

But this year she did it to the tune of a $1,000 fee, which, according to city sources, "is coming out of the golf course budget."

Uh, oh, will that prompt a re-visit of the "who gets to play free" saga with which City Hall recently struggled?

Fortunately, we are being told now that Ms. Board is definitely going to be removed from the license and replaced with current city attorney, Heather Price-Smith. Additionally, another member of the corporation under which the liquor license is held will be replaced as well.

None of this can occur, however, until after a May 1st renewal processing time. Compounding this further is the fact that two names are changing, which will delay the process even longer as the transaction is now considered a "transfer of the license" by the county liquor board and not simply a matter of changing a name.

So, Ms. Board will remain an officer of the corporation for a bit longer than she had hoped - at least until mid-June.

But what about the claim by Ms. Board that the city exposed her to "legal and administrative liability" as they did not replace her as an officer as she requested and precipitated her $1,000 payment?

It is true that the city picked up the paperwork needed to remove Ms. Board's name from the liquor board a year ago but have done nothing with them since.

But, on the flip side, had Ms. Board wanted her name removed as badly as she purports she did, she simply could have contacted the liquor board in writing, notifying them that she wanted her name removed, and that act would have caused the liquor board to notify the city that they needed to remove her name within five days.

Wouldn't you think that Ms. Board, a lawyer (to say nothing of the fact she is a former city attorney), would know that? Wouldn't you think she'd inquire about it? So, she seems to be as equally responsible for her exposure to "legal and administrative liability" for which she charged the city $1,000.

Maybe she should give it back - or at least half.

You'd think, though, that with the number of attorneys involved in this matter, this wouldn't have gotten as messed up as it has.

You have to wonder though if the drink prices at the course are going to go up to cover the cost of it?

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