Mt. Vernon Register-News

February 14, 2013

Dix Village Board takes non-action on purposed ordinances

By RICK HAYES
rick.hayes@register-news.com

DIX — — A citizens group which had expressed concerns about the safety of employees at the Foxxxy Ladyz Adult World Club in Dix were "surprised" by the non-action taken by the Dix Village Board at a meeting Tuesday night at village hall.

Phil Pittman, a spokesman for the group of about 20 to 30 citizens, had drafted plans to protect the workers. Pittman presented the plan to the Village Board at a meeting on Jan. 8. At that time, Village President Larry Mooney promised to place it on Tuesday's agenda, following private consultation with village attorney David Leggans.

Following those meetings, the Board prepared a written statement that was read during Tuesday's meeting. The statement is as follows:

"The Village Board appreciates the efforts of the Citizens Group in putting together their proposed ordinance planks and the Village Board understands the group's concern in relation the local night club business. However, upon review of the proposed ordinance plans with village attorney David Leggans, the Village Board does not plan to adopt such ordinances at this time due to the proposed ordinances not coinciding with present village ordinances on this matter. The Village of Dix also does not have the ability or resources to enact and enforce the propose ordinances, even if they were acceptable at this time, especially those of financial matter."

Pittman said he thought the Village Board was going to form a committee to study the group's proposals, although that was not discussed at Tuesday's meeting.

"We were rocked by this. Afterwards, they wouldn't event comment on the statement," Pittman said. "We respect their decision, and they're intelligent people. We don't like it, but we respect their decision." He added, "We were surprised. We really thought a committee would be formed."

The citizens group was formed following an incident during the early morning hours of New Year's day in which a Mt. Vernon man was arrested after he allegedly threw a chair at a 23-year-old female dancer at the club. The woman was treated for a laceration to her head and had some of her teeth knocked out.

Elbert Washup, 40, was arrested shortly after the 3 a.m. incident on a charge of aggravated battery in a public place, a Class 3 felony. Washup was identified by subjects involved in a fight outside the bar as the person responsible for the incident, according to reports from the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office. Washup is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, according to an online court database.

Pittman's group had sought a ban on all glass bottles, all folding lightweight chairs, installing safety rails around the stage, and having at least a 6-foot barrier from customers at all times. The group also proposed brighter lights around the stage, to have one bouncer per every 10 patrons, and to ban the sale of alcoholic beverages after 2 p.m. The group maintained the enforcement of the regulations could be carried out by off-duty police officers and/or firefighters, and/or having a new law enforcement office established. Financing for the proposals would be derived from fines and licensing fees, the group said.

Pittman said the group would continue meeting, reviewing the village's current ordinances, and working to achieve enforcement of those ordinances.