The barbershop and salon curfew hit a bump on its road to passage earlier in the week, when the city’s law director said, he would not sign off on it without evidence.
“There’s still lacking,” said Domenick Stampone, “more detailed information.” Stampone, the city’s corporation counsel, said the map provided during the initial discussion, which shows dots over troublesome businesses, is not enough to prevent the law from being challenged. Stampone, said other towns have successfully regulated business hours in a similar manner, but when the ordinance was challenged they were able to successfully ward off the challengers by providing a large amount of data – effectively demonstrating that the resolution was essential in keeping neighborhoods free of disturbances.
Currently, he said there was no such data, making it difficult for the city’s law department to defend the ordinance, if a challenge were to come about after passage. “We’re looking to make this ordinance challenge proof,” said Stampone, who informed Kenneth McDaniel, councilman at-large, that he has asked the police department for records going back five years, of calls and reports of disturbances caused by barbershops and salons.
“Sounds to me, corporation counsel, that you’re not ready to sign off,” said Andre Sayegh, 6th Ward councilman and council president, who sponsored the business curfew resolution. “As we sit here today: no,” said Stampone. “We’ve been told that the information is forth coming, and as long as it meets our approval, it will be signed off immediately.”
Anthony Davis, the 1st Ward councilman, called for a public discussion on the ordinance during the interim. “Let us have a town hall meeting in between,” said Davis. Janice Miller, a salon owner, attended the meeting to express her opinion of the resolution. She said the situation was “totally out of hand,” and required a remedy. Miller pointed out that many barbershops in the city were operating without licenses: there are barbers and salon operators in the city without any qualifications to take in customers. “It’s unfair,” said Miller of those barbers who do not have to pay license fees that her business, operating legitimately, must.
“For some reason barbershops and beauty parlors was left out when they were re-doing the city ordinances — they were not included,” said Ruby Cotton, 4th Ward councilwoman, who stated that in the past there was always a resolution regulating the hours of operation for barbershops and salons, but it was left out when the city re-organized its law code. “There was always something in place,” said Cotton.
It has been more than a month since the discussion on the resolution began, but it has gone nowhere, leading many to conclude, like other curfew laws, the resolution will die out. “This ordinance is not likely to move,” said Morris. “Mark my word this resolution or this ordinance is going to end up going absolutely nowhere.”