Like many of you, I was shocked when I first learned that City Council was planning to vote on an ordinance forcing all new bars to close at 12 a.m. The whole thing — from the last-second way that it was added to the agenda to the very fact that the ordinance was backed by Mayor Riley and Chief Mullen — seemed like a done deal, so I wasn’t shocked when the measure passed its first reading on a 12-to-1 vote. City Councilman Dean Riegel was the lone “nay” vote.

Although it looks like the ordinance — regardless of whatever minor changes council and the town planning commission make to it — will pass both its second and third readings, thereby becoming a law, we here at the City Paper believe that it can still be stopped.

So we’ve included a flyer in this week’s issue to help out. It’s message is simple: Please do not close downtown bars at midnight. Feel free to post it in the window of your business or hand it out to patrons. More importantly, call City Council and let them know how you feel. 

For more information on contacting members of City Council, please visit

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