License Board Votes 2-1 to Maintain 1 A.M. Closing Time

In the end, the sentiment of the Lynn License Board appears to be, ‘if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.’

That is the impression one is left with after the astonishingly quick vote of the License Board on Tuesday night.

After hearing more than 90 minutes of testimony from supporters of Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy’s proposal to rollback the closing time for establishments that serve alcohol to 2 a.m. last month, the board and members of the public who opposed that proposal were expecting a similarly drawn out evening of testimony on Tuesday.

However, after just more than 60 minutes of testimony from opponents of the proposal, the License Board took a five minute recess  and upon returning voted quickly on the proposal, with little debate.

Chairwoman Patricia Barton and member John Krol both voted to maintain the current 1 a.m. curfew for bar and restaurant closing times in Lynn. Member Miguel Funez voted against the motion, making ostensibly in favor of rolling back the closing time to 2 a.m. as had been proposed by the Mayor.

Proponents of the Mayor’s proposal had testified at the Board’s July 28th opening of the Public Hearing, that longer hours would mean more revenue for the establishments and a more active nightlife for Lynn residents.

However, opponents of the proposal, including Police Chief Kevin Coppinger, reminded the board that he closing hours of Lynn establishments was changed in 2009, after years of higher crime and motor vehicle accidents associated with the longer opening times.

Coppinger detailed for the Licensing Board how both crime and motor vehicle accidents and fatalities had declined since the city moved to a 1 a.m. closing time and many residents noted that the reduction in crime and accidents had led to a “safer city” to live in.

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