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Council Gaffe Brings Extra Hour Of Drinking To City Bars

The City Council meant to adjust the holiday schedule for later hours, but instead passed an ordinance that allows bars to stay open until 3 a.m. three nights a week.

The City Council accidentally passed an ordinance last month that allows Hoboken's bars to stay open until 3 a.m. three nights a week, rather than two.

The ordinance was passed in a unanimous vote in early May. It permits bars to remain open until 3 a.m. on Friday mornings, as well as Saturday and Sunday morning. 

The ordinance was meant to adjust the city's holiday calendar, which was outdated. Bars are allowed to stay open later on the eve of federal holidays. 

While the first part of the ordinance updates the holiday schedule, the second part of the ordinance states that establishments with liquor licenses "shall impose a closing time of 3 a.m. in the morning on Friday, Saturday and/or Sunday and 2 a.m. in the morning on all other nights."

According to city spokesman Juan Melli, that was not the city's intent.

"It's going to be corrected," Melli said. A new ordinance will be proposed, likely at the next city council meeting, he added. Melli said that ordinances are drafted by the city's legal department. 

If a new ordinance is introduced at the June 20 council meeting, the measure will need a second vote before it can be adopted. This means that bars can have an extra hour a week until at least the first week of July.

Councilman David Mello, who sponsored the new law together with Councilwoman Jennifer Giattino, explained that the ordinance was supposed to update an "incomplete list" of official holidays. 

Mello, in a phone interview on Thursday, said it was his understanding that the ordinance adjusted the holiday schedule, not the closing times. 

Giattino said the ordinance was meant to make sure that bars would be allowed to stay open late on holdiays. In the old version, some holidays were linked to specific dates and some holidays weren't included, she said.

Redrider765 June 09, 2012 at 11:54 AM
Completely understandable that getting people to say things on the record can be tough in this town especially when so much of the juicy stuff you want to report on involves unethical behavior and potential criminal behavior that those in the know don't want anyone to uncover. But that is also why court proceedings and other public events are fertile grounds for a reporter to attend. Everything that gets said in front of the camera, the court reporter or at a public venue in front of witnesses IMO is fair game for a reporter to report on. BTW, thanks for the comments and for agreeing to look at those transcripts.
Redrider765 June 09, 2012 at 11:55 AM
I knew it might take a few weeks to get the transcripts but that price tag is outrageous! I hope everyone pools their resources to buy just 1 copy and share it.
rtrux June 09, 2012 at 12:27 PM
true, but for a newspaper or other journalistic enterprise, isn't that just the cost of doing business?
rtrux June 09, 2012 at 03:51 PM
kudos to stephen lamarca for his balanced, objective reporting on this story in today's print edition of the reporter (i don't think that article is posted online, so out of town operatives like finboy and outofcontrol will meet to hop in the car and drive into town to get a copy). this longer article clearly states the judge's belief that matt and tania were lying on the stand under oath, and that he believed theresa's side of the story. according to the article, the judge apparently let matt off the hook because the magnitude of his harassment didn't quite reach the level of criminal behavior. but the judge clearly said matt did in fact harass her and her child.
Bob R June 11, 2012 at 05:38 PM
It's funny how for news venues that doggedly report important stories, the layers of the onion keep peeling away to reveal even more stories behind the story, as evidenced below. Sorry, Tom, but while yes, Patch caters to an audience that goes beyond government and politics, you have simply dropped the ball on high-impact reporting too many times and it's fairly obvious to anyone paying attention that for whatever reason, the Mason and Russo faction of Hoboken politics get the kid-glove treatment. You couldn't run your own story on the Calicchio trial because it was in Union City? Seriously? Something tells me if Zimmer or any of her allies got arrested for anything, even a traffic violation, it'd be a different story. Looking at the two stories pasted below, I'd be pretty embarrassed if I were you. It's like, "Hey Woodward, I got the Nixon tapes!" "Not now, Bernstein, haven't you heard the huge news? Someone made a clerical error and it's going to need to be corrected, and some bars might stay open an hour later for a few weekends as a result! Stop the presses!" http://www.hobokenhorse.com/2012/06/tax-exempt-beth-and-ricky-mason-civic.html http://grafixavenger.blogspot.com/2012/06/bombshell-mason-finboy-non-profit-sham.html

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