Sunday, August 21, 2005

Who's the nuisance?

Wheeling Council is way off base when it tries to declare Bud's Club a public nuisance. The club has been in Centre Wheeling for 6 decades and it's been in the same family the entire time. Current owner Joey Gorayeb has been running the place for 15 years.I am willing to accept Wheeling Police Chief Kevin Gessler's claim that the place has been a haven for drugs and possibly prostiution. But whatever problems there are are attributrable to a single owner and in fact a single family for generations.

Gorayeb wants to sell the building and the business to a new owner. The new owner should be given a chance to prove that he can run a "clean club". There already are several nearby business people who think a tavern in that area is a good idea. I agree. It's a neighborhood of antique shops, restaurants, a used book store, art gallery. A pleasant pub makes a pleasing addition. As a member of the City Planning Commission, I can tell you the entire area is properly zoned. In fact, with several store fronts available in that specific block, a new tavern could easily open up within a matter of a few hundred feet.

A piece of property is not possessed by demons. A building on its own is not a nuisance. If there is prostituion in the area, crack down on it. If Mr. Gorayeb or others have committed crimes inside that building, arrest them. And if Mr. Goryeb wanted to continue operating the bar himself, oppose it.

But to to deny a new owner a chance to make a go of a new neighborhood bar in that location is unfair to the new owner, unfair to those who would like to see a pub, and frankly unfair to Mr. Gorayeb in denying him the chance to sell his business and building to a willing buyer.

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