What the city should do about Quotes
Janesville Police Chief Dave Moore says he has three concerns with Quotes, the troubled dance club and tavern on North Main Street.
The first is for the safety of citizens and officers after repeated fights and disorderly conducts. The second is police resources that Quotes requires—and data show Quotes gobbles about 30 percent of time invested in responding to violence at the city’s 43 bars. The third involves “the influence that this improper activity has on the perception of safety in our downtown.”
Police thought Carpenter was cooperating to clean up the troubles, but they no longer trust her. That’s because she claimed a power surge must have erased video surveillance of a fight last Sept. 28, but the state crime lab has determined that the tape was manually deleted.
Last week, police recommended that the city pull the license for two weeks and force the dance club to close at 12:30 a.m. for one year. On Tuesday, the city’s alcohol license advisory committee voted to recommend a seven-day suspension and 12:30 a.m. closing for 90 days and 1:30 a.m. closing for another 90 days.
Frank Lettenberger, an attorney for Quotes owner Denise Carpenter, says a 12:30 a.m. closing would be a “death sentence” for the bar.
Of course, if the bar closes, it will be just one more vacancy in a downtown that has too many empty buildings.
The decision is now in the hands of Moore, who can but doesn't have to follow the committee's recommendations. The matter could wind up before the city council if Quotes doesn't agree to whatever sanctions Moore demands.
We’ll share our perspective in our editorial Saturday.