No Four Star Reviews for SLA Just Yet

Just a couple hours away from CB3’s monthly melodrama, otherwise known as the SLA Committee meeting, it’s a good time to check up on New York’s most maligned state agency. Last month, Senator Daniel Squadron got an earful from Community Board 3 about continuing administrative problems at the State Liquor Authority.

Rosen Squadron voted to confirm the SLA’s new chief, Dennis Rosen (pictured). But, in so doing, he vowed to hold Rosen accountable for making the SLA more responsive to the community and for speeding up the notoriously slow application approval process. A couple of months ago, the Times reported that, in fact, restaurants were noticing improvements.

But CB3 District Manager Susan Stetzer told Squadron, “we’re not even getting answers to operational questions… we appreciate that they want to be more efficient… but they can’t be too busy for us, because we’re part of their work.” David McWater, a member of CB3’s SLA committee and a bar owner, believes red tape at the SLA is still a huge problem. Nine months after he sold a bar on Houston Street the license still hasn’t been transferred to the new owner.

Squadron said technological upgrades he’s been pushing would make a big difference. He promised to talk with Rosen if things don’t get better soon or, if necessary, call a hearing to grill the SLA about responsiveness.