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Community Board 3 & the SLA: Opening the Lines of Communication

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In December, we reported about tensions that seemed to be building between Community Board 3 and the State Liquor Authority. During a public meeting, CB3 District Manager Susan Stetzer had complained that it was increasingly difficult to get information from the SLA, even about routine matters. In response, SLA CEO Trina Mead took the unusual step of writing a letter to the editor of the Villager, defending the beleaguered agency.

At last month’s CB3’s meeting, Stetzer said relations have improved significantly in the new year.  She recently attended a meeting with Mead and other SLA officials to talk over some of the difficulties the community board had been experiencing. Since that time, Stetzer indicated, her dealings with the Liquor Authority have been much more productive.

Community boards do not exercise any actual authority in the licensing of bars and restaurants, but the SLA is supposed to take their wishes into account. Dennis Rosen, the SLA’s new chairman, has made improved community outreach a high priority. Last month, he came to the Lower East Side for a “Nightlife Town Hall” sponsored by State Senator Daniel Squadron.

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