Night club owners must follow legal process to open new establishments

By JAMIE PATTERSON,

Those wishing to open a nightclub within Yazoo City are discovering it won’t happen overnight…literally.

Police Chief Ron Sampson said that he is having many problems with people who wish to open a nightclub demanding their permits be issued immediately.

Sampson said that in many cases, the potential club owners are wanting to open their business within 30 minutes of providing the required information to city officials.

“When someone comes to open a nightclub, we must do a background check first,” Sampson said, during the Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting. “I urge everybody who wants to open a business to plan it, set a date so that when you do come to us, you can’t say that we are holding you up. We are not.”

Sampson added that he had one club owner who wanted clearance to open within the next hour.

“We have to wait until the information gets back to us for us to do our due diligence to make sure everything is in line with whatever we do,” he said. “We have had a couple of people in the last few weeks who have been pushy, but we can’t move any faster than the system will let us.”

Mayor Diane Delaware said she even had a club owner contact her on a Friday evening at 9:30 p.m. in order to open for business at 10 p.m.

“I thought this person wasn’t working with a full deck of cards,” she said. “But 9:30 p.m. on a Friday night? There is no sense in that. I have people who are not speaking to me, angry with me because I did not respond to this request. There are people who really believe they can do this. You cannot. It doesn’t make any sense. It’s irrational. It is disturbing to me on so many levels.”

Delaware said that a turnaround time for addressing permits and background checks is typically two to four days.

“To wish or demand something else is not appropriate,” she said. “We do the business of the city, but we simply won’t be responding to these types of requests.”

In other police news:

The Yazoo City Police Department will soon hold a toy drive at WalMart.

In October, the department received 695 service calls and handled 64 misdemeanors and 12 felonies.

Chief Sampson reminded the public that the holiday season is here and to be mindful of surroundings and scams that already taking place within the community.