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Paolucci: I didn't play 'I Spy' at vexing Sullivan's


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Date published: 10/26/2012

I read the Oct. 24 op-ed, "Who brought the fight to Sullivan's? Council," with disbelief and dismay. As the alleged "undercover" member of City Council, I feel the need to respond to Tommy Mitchell's allegations.

Since my election to City Council, I've made myself available to ride with our community police and zone officers to better acquaint myself with my ward. During my 14 police ride-alongs, I visited and/or monitored F.W. Sullivan's on two occasions.

My first and only entry into this establishment was with two officers when they handled a routine inspection to monitor occupancy limits. As we waited for management to locate the occupancy permit, I was introduced to the young lady at the front counter as a City Council member--hardly an "undercover" operation.

On the second occasion, I was present at closing time (2 a.m.) when two police cruisers were located across the street from Sullivan's to monitor the patrons as they left the establishment. No officers were "toting machine guns and dressed up in riot gear and face masks." Such a statement is misleading, offensive, and inflammatory.

For the record, that same evening officers and detectives were stationed at other establishments to monitor their closing operations.

The record of calls and complaints on this and other establishments has been well-publicized. The failure to state the entire record and the omission of the incentive that F.W. Sullivan's received in Mitchell's op-ed is of great concern.

Many of the complaints I've received from constituents regarding this establishment are "quality of life" issues. As a longstanding city property owner and resident, Mitchell should first be mindful of how this establishment affects the adjoining and adjacent property owners, including neighboring businesses and their clientele, before focusing on how "it hinders my leasing business."

Mitchell's allegation that there's a "Council assault on this restaurant and others" is not correct. I do and will continue to promote equal enforcement of our policies and codes and will be happy to meet with Mitchell to discuss his concerns.

Beatrice Rose Paolucci

Fredericksburg

Beatrice Rose Paolucci represents Ward 4 on City Council.