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Alcohol Seller-Server Training Ordinance Did Not Include Grocers – April 16, 2012

The Lincoln Independent Business Association (LIBA) requests more time for off-sale sellers to have input on the proposed alcohol server-seller training ordinance. This ordinance has been fast-tracked and those affected have not been given sufficient time for a full and fair opportunity to be heard.

Members of the Internal Liquor Committee for the City of Lincoln have said that they have not been given sufficient time or information to get on board with the policy of this ordinance. In fact, last week they said they had only had two meetings, and they had not seen or heard any of the specifics on the proposed new training for servers and sellers.

Off-sale retailers and grocery stores were never intended to be included in this legislation. 

Councilman Carroll introduced the amendment that required mandatory server training, and this is what the transcript states:

Councilman Spatz: “OK, Gene do you want to describe this?”

Councilman Carroll: “Yes, and this is a motion to add to the ordinance that creates a mandated responsible beverage service training permit and training course by the City of Lincoln to serve anyone that to serve alcohol must complete this course.”

Councilman Spatz: “Discussion?”

Councilman Carroll never mentioned sellers. He never mentioned off sale. In fact, no one did.  The entire discussion was centered on bars and servers.

Councilman Camp referred to this as “server training.”  Councilman Cook referred to “server education” three times.  Councilman Hornung referred to this as “mandatory server training.”  There was even discussion about servers at non-profit events, but never did anyone talk about required training for grocery store clerks, and never were they identified as a problem.

At the time (August 2010), the 2 a.m.ordinance change was portrayed in every newspaper article and every city council meeting as a change that would only affect bar owners. There was no reason for grocers to be concerned until now.

LIBA respectfully requests that this council delay this ordinance change to allow for further discussion and possible amendments to satisfy the concerns of grocers and others who will be affected.