Friday, December 4, 2009

Response to: FORMAL REQUEST: Documentation on Meade County Regulations for "Not a Suitable Location"

Commissioner Aker,

I realize that you are a new Commissioner as of this last year. I am concerned that you could make your ruling on approving these licenses surrounding Bear Butte without fully being aware of what the guidelines and basis for approval or denial even are.

Here is the info as per South Dakota Legislative Research Council’s Memo 94-32 “A SUMMARY OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE LICENSING PROVISIONS”

"depending on whether" the secretary or governing board "deems the applicant a suitable person to hold such license and whether" the secretary or governing board "considers the proposed location suitable.

" SDCL 35-2-1.1 and 35-2-1.2.

35-2-1.2. Applications submitted to local governing board--Fee--Approval or disapproval. Any application for a retail license, except as set forth in § 35-2-1.1, shall be submitted to the governing board of the municipality within which the applicant intends to operate, or if outside the corporate limits of a municipality, to the board of county commissioners of the county in which the applicant seeks to operate. The application shall be accompanied by the required fee. The governing board may approve or disapprove the application depending on whether the governing board deems the applicant a suitable person to hold the license and whether the governing board considers the proposed location suitable.

Source: SDC 1939, §§ 5.0206, 5.0305; SL 1945, ch 21, § 1; SL 1951, ch 11; SDC Supp 1960, § 5.0204 (14); SL 1961, ch 14; SL 1964, ch 9; SL 1965, ch 12; SDCL §§ 35-4-32, 35-4-33, 35-6-15; SL 1971, ch 211, § 13; SL 2008, ch 37, § 140.

So what you are stating is that MCC does NOT have a written policy on what classifies as “not a suitable location?”

Chairman Mallow very clearly stated in the hearing in June 2008 that if the location was next to a church or school, the location could potentially be denied a license.

If there is no written factors for this stipulation, then what basis has the Commissioners been using all this time in their determinations? There has to be some legal guidelines used in rulings.

Again, I am requesting the documentation on this provision.

I do not feel that I need to make an appointment to be on an agenda to discuss this issue. It should be something that the Commissioners have upon request of the voters, since they have been ruling on it for five years!

Tamra Brennan
Protect Sacred Sites Indigenous People, One Nation


From: Alan Aker []
Sent: Friday, December 04, 2009 1:06 PM
Cc: Joell Romick;; Doreen Creed;;;; Ken Chleborad; Lisa Schieffer; Doreen Creed;; Joell Romick;
Subject: Re: FORMAL REQUEST: Documentation on Meade County Regulations for "Not a Suitable Location"
Importance: High

Hello Tamra,

I'm sure others can correct anything incorrect in the following reply:

* Meade County has not adopted formal criteria for "suitable location" for a liquor or been license.

* Meade County has not adopted a policy that proximity to churches shall be considered in issuing such licenses.

* Meade County has not adopted a definition of "church" for alcohol licensing purposes.

It has been our practice that any Meade County resident can have a scheduled block of time on an upcoming agenda to discuss issues pertinent to county government. I cannot guarantee that our chairman would allow this topic on our agenda. Our practice has been that those desiring time on our agenda make that request to Joell Romick, and I have added her to the cc line of this message. There is no guarantee that the commission would adopt any particular policy or any policy at all, even if the matter were taken up as an agenda item. The vast majority of South Dakota counties make decisions on the suitability of the location of liquor licenses without such formal policies. If you choose to ask for agenda time, I recommend you have a written proposal for the commission to consider.

Alan Aker
Meade County Commissioner
District 4

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