City to Mull Liquor License Non-Renewal

At its March 7, 2011 meeting, the Ann Arbor city council approved the appointment of Tony Derezinski (Ward 2) as a hearing officer to make recommendations to the city council on decisions not to renew liquor licenses. The original resolution, as a general principle, appointed all members of the city’s liquor license review committee to a hearing board to make those recommendations to the council. The three-member committee consists of Derezinski, Mike Anglin (Ward 5), and Stephen Rapundalo (Ward 2).

The resolution was amended at the meeting over the objection of Sabra Briere (Ward 1), Marcia Higgins (Ward 4), Stephen Kunselman (Ward 3) and Stephen Rapundalo (Ward 2) – who chairs the liquor license review committee.

The city code provides that before any final decision is made not to renew a license, a business must be provided with a chance to present arguments on its behalf, confront witnesses, and possibly be represented by an attorney.

The establishment of a hearing officer is prompted by a Feb. 25, 2011 meeting of the council’s liquor license review committee meeting, when the members recommended non-renewal of annual licenses for some on-premise liquor-licensed businesses.

This brief was filed from the boardroom in the Washtenaw County administration building, where the council is meeting due to renovations in the city hall building. A more detailed report will follow: [link]