The new chair of the New York State Liquor Authority is vowing to improve his organization. Dennis Rosen made the case last night at a "nightlife forum" on the Lower East Side. WNYC's Kathleen Horan reports on Rosen's first meeting with the general public since taking over last summer.
REPORTER: There was a line outside the school before the forum even began of people waiting to sign up on a list to speak. Once it did begin the room seemed to be almost divided in half between the residents who are overwhelmed, who feel barraged with the constant noise and garbage they have been experiencing from all the bars and restaurants in their neighborhood, and the business owners who often wait up to a year to find out if they've even been granted a liquor license and many have invested their life savings in their business endeavors.
Rosen promised that the backlog of nearly 2000 applications will be totally eliminated by October but he also assured the residents that enforcement would be stepped up and that he wouldn't be handing out licenses like chewing gum.
Rosen has been meeting with elected officials and local community boards for the past several months to hear their suggestions on reforming the Liquor Authority.