The Lynn License Commission continued without any finding or determination, Tuesday night’s hotly anticipated public hearing on the request by the Lynn Restaurant Association, to return to a 2 a.m. closing time in the city.
At the outset of the meeting, License Commission Chairperson Patricia M. Barton told those in attendance that the public hearing would end at 8 p.m. and that if anyone who wished to speak had not had a chance to do so, the public hearing would be continued without a vote on the matter.
With well over 100 people in attendance at Tuesday night’s hearing, many representing local establishments that serve alcohol, it was almost a foregone conclusion that the hearing would end without a decision.
The hearing was called following a request by the Lynn Restaurant Association, represented by attorney Frederick Riley, to extend the closing time for so-called “pouring” establishments to 2 a.m., as it had been prior to 2008, when the City Council voted to roll-back the closing time for such establishments to 1 a.m.
The majority of Tuesday night’s hearing was dominated by speakers who rose to support the return to the 2 a.m. closing time, including Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy, Attorney Riley on behalf of LRA and Frances Martinez of the MSLBA, each of whom had requested in writing ahead of time the opportunity to speak in favor of the extended hours.
Police Chief Kevin Coppinger had also requested in writing the opportunity to speak against the extended hours and he served as the only real speaker against the proposal on Tuesday with the exception of At-Large Councilor Buzzy Barton, who offered brief remarks supporting Chief Coppinger’s position.