Owner speaks out about LaCount ‘s
Published 6:32 pm Friday, June 18, 2010
I feel that my place of business has been an ongoing target of defamation from a select group of individuals in Bainbridge, Ga.
Let me get this straight once and for all, my business in not a night club. I do not have a liquor license and do not want a liquor license. Smoking in not even allowed in my building.
What the press has been referring to in their articles is an occasional community dance (not every weekend) held inside the building. Keep in mind that the same kinds of parties are held at other place of businesses here in Decatur County. I have done everything in my power to make these dances safe for the guests. Mostly, because of my concern for public safety, these community dances have security that is hired to patrol the premises and search individuals at the door before entering the building. I even call Public Safety and inform them of the scheduled dances as an extra precaution of safety.
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Basically, my main objective for the community dances was to make sure that illegal substances, firearms or weapons did not enter the building so that guests would be in a safe environment to enjoy dancing, listening to music and socializing.
Initially, articles written about the building was focused on noise, cars parked along the roadside and how young ladies dressed. The noise referred to was not from the building, but people outside the building in their cars. I informed Public Safety to have DOT place “no parking” signs along the roadside to deter parking along the roadside.
As far as the young ladies style of dressing, I have not found that wearing clothing that was purchased at local stores to break any laws that I knew of. The dress code inside the building is leisure unless indicated otherwise by invitations. Just like any other public place in town. The onset of writing of these negative articles was what first gave my building the “bad place in town” image. Simply because a certain group from this community was gathering to dance, enjoy music and socialize periodically.
My building is also rented out to people who wish to have private parties, showers, reunions, etc., just like the Shriners Club, Firehouse, Women’s Club, Senior Citizen building, Country Club and others in town. One of the businesses listed above had a fatal shooting. Some have had fights and brawls, but there was no road blocks stopping people leaving those establishments, historical write-up of incidents or statements being made from an officer relating to the building needs to burn down.
This is what leads me to believe that this is more of a personal attack at my business than a public concern.
The Post-Searchlight listed a history of a total of six incidents in a recent article. It stated that was an incident reported in 2007, one in 2008, and one in 2009 and three incidents listed in 2010, which happened outside the building and led to make you believe that they happened during consecutive weekends.
Furthermore, I have been renting out my building more than 10 years. Frankly, I think that Public Safety has visited certain homes in the community more often than my place for battery, domestic problems and other disturbances.
To make matters worst, the article stated that my tax record was inquired into because it was public record online as a means to find out who owned the building. My business is listed in the telephone book and furthermore, I think that Public Safety could have provided that information too, just as they provided the history of incidents that supposedly happened. But I feel that this was also a personal blow toward me, to list my name and my wife’s name in the article as the owners, as if to point fingers. Most people in this community already knew who owned the business. Moreover, these reporters chose not to interview me to get at least two sides of the story.
Lastly, my place of business was even used recently as a negative prime example in a City Council meeting to try to deny a citizen from obtaining a liquor licenses for a sports bar. Why my place?
We don’t sell alcohol and my place of business is not the only business in town that is rented for dances and parties that is located next to a church either. So, what makes my business stand out any different from all the others?
Finally, let this be my notice to those concerned about my building. I will continue to rent my building to organizations and the public for private parties, family reunions, showers, birthday, etc., but I will not have any more community dances at my place.
Johnny LaCountsBainbridge, Ga.