Adult-oriented business ordinances are tabled

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 4, 2002

Action on the ordinances for adult-oriented businesses was once again postponed as the Austin City Council and representatives of the Brown Derby and Hey Rube try to come to some sort of agreement.

At Monday's ordinance committee meeting, the two entities butted heads as representatives of the Brown Derby and Hey Rube and their lawyer, Randall Titem, argued the adult-oriented businesses shouldn't be treated differently from other businesses on the grounds that they cause more problems for police officers than other businesses.

The truth is, Titem said, "they cause not more, but fewer law enforcement problems than other bars in the area … you cannot rely on these studies when decades of personal experience tells you to the contrary."

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However, city attorney David Hoversten and city council members contended the adult-oriented businesses do need separate ordinances because it would be in the best interest of the community.

Council member Dick Lang proposed tabling the motion so both sides can get more information about the issues. "If you're gonna make an ordinance, it has to be fair," he explained.

The move to table action on the ordinances also was supported by Hoversten on the basis that the ordinances contain some incorrect references to other passages in the documents. He explained that he only wanted a vote to occur on the ordinance when it was in its final draft.

The council also approved filling two full-time police officer positions with the candidates recommended by Austin Police Chief Paul Philipp. The two candidates are Christopher Kaiser and Amy Morgan.

According to Philipp, Kaiser served three years in the United States Army Airborne before receiving an honorable discharge in 1995. He earned his law enforcement degree in Alexandria and then began his law enforcement career in North Dakota.

Morgan was born in Austin, but moved to Stewartville, Minn. when she was seven years old. She went to Mankato State University for her bachelor of science degree in criminal justice.

The council agreed to hire Kaiser and Morgan if they pass physical and psychological exams necessary for the positions.

In other council news:

n The city adopted an ordinance in compliance with a new state law that says only people 18 years old and older can purchase fireworks, and their age must be verified by a photo identification. The law also says fireworks are not allowed on public property. "They aren't permitted under state law," Hoversten said. "That's not something I made up for the fun of it."

n A resolution was passed for an agreement with the I&M Rail Link LLC and the Commissioner of Transportation for installing and maintaining railroad crossing signals and gates at the intersection of Eight Avenue NE.

Amanda L. Rohde can be reached at 434-2214 or by e-mail at