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Lynden against licenses for businesses

According to Trustee James Lynden, the Fredonia business community stands firmly against Mayor Douglas Essek’s proposal to start a village licensing process.

The mayor named Lynden to a special committee last month that he tasked with studying the proposal. Lynden was skeptical of the plan at the time, and judging by his statements to Essek on Monday at the village trustees’ regular meeting, that hasn’t changed a bit.

“I reviewed a number of other communities and all the ones I found associated fees with … an additional licensing for businesses,” Lynden said. “I spoke with (Chief Code Enforcement Officer) Chuck LaBarbera about it for a pretty good length. He thought it might not be a bad idea, but then again, as we discussed it further, without any kind of penalties or charges to go along with it, it really has no teeth.”

Lynden and LaBarbera were named to the committee by Essek, along with Trustee Scott Johnston and village Attorney Charles Roberts. Lynden was the only member who commented about the committee Monday, and did so because Essek asked him directly about it.

He went on, “Pretty much everything that is needed is already on the books. … any other licensing or permits beyond what we have would already be addressed by the county or state. It wouldn’t be a part of what the village would be addressing.

“I also spoke with a number of business owners,” continued Lynden, who is a small business owner himself. “A number of them contacted me. Not a single one was in favor of such a thing. They felt it was just going to drive out business.

They also felt we have to be really careful in the possibility that this may be looked at as trying to target certain businesses. … it’s not necessarily their fault the people that come to them, it’s more a police issue, they felt.

“I think we shouldn’t move any further with it at this point,” Lynden concluded. Essek thanked him for his report, without comment.

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