Grand Lake nearly denies renewal of liquor license |

Grand Lake nearly denies renewal of liquor license

Owners of a Grand Lake business narrowly avoided an outright denial of their liquor license due to a charge of perjury against one owner and an illegal sale of alcohol to a minor against the other.

Delores and Jay Jackson, owners of Grand Pizza, who had been operating with a temporary transfer permit since February, were far from let off the hook.

In a recent background check on Jay Jackson as part of the liquor license application, the Grand County Sheriff’s Office uncovered charges from 19 years ago in Huntington Beach, Calif., involving petty theft and temporary vehicle theft.

Because the pizza-place owner had omitted this information when asked to provide a history record, the sheriff’s office charged him with perjury in the second degree, a class one misdemeanor.

Speaking on behalf of her husband, Delores Jackson said the illegal acts occurred a long time ago, and in former jobs with high security and background checks, nothing had ever come up about his brief criminal history.

The information could simply have escaped him when he filled out the application, she said. “Not that it’s an excuse.”

In regard to her own offense, Delores said she was “caught in a weak moment” when she inadvertently provided alcohol to a minor during a compliance check April 12, “which is no excuse,” she added. “I’m thankful it was a sting operation, not just someone out just trying to get alcohol,” she said.

Found guilty in court on May 6, Delores was fined $92, ordered to perform 96 hours of public service and to make a $500 contribution to the organization DARE. She also completed a TIPS training.

Both issues do not bode well for seeking a liquor license.

“Right now I’m leaning toward (the option) to deny the approval,” said Trustee Tom Weydert during the town’s deliberations. His reasoning, he said, was that the town faced more than one situation of perjury with suspected violations in voter registration, a town candidate accused of a petition violation and now a liquor license application.

“I do want to very emphatically make a statement,” he said. “Right now I’m very sensitive to the whole perjury issue, right now it’s a big topic in town. I have very strong opinions about it.”

For the conduct that is needed to obtain liquor licenses, “It’s very serious,” he said.

But board members such as Jim Peterson, followed by Elmer Lanzi, reminded other board members that the perjury issue “is a charge, not a conviction.”

After much deliberation, the town board voted to approve the license application on a probationary period and allow for an amended application with the 1989 charges included. However, the town holds the right to suspend the license in advance depending on the outcome of court proceedings and state approval or disapproval.

The town also reserves the right to reopen the case and set a public hearing for consideration of the liquor license at a future time.

“We’re taking it seriously, I hope you do too,” said Trustee Kathy Lewis, addressing the Jacksons.

Among other board business. . .

– The board awarded the 2008 tree-spraying bid to THC Enterprises Inc., the sole bidder, in the amount of $8.50 per tree for roughly 2,000 trees in Thomasson park and the Grand Lake cemetery. Trustee Jim Peterson voted against the proposal, saying he has nothing against the company, but believes spraying at this juncture of the tree epidemic is a futile effort.

“I’ve lost faith in spraying,” he said. “I’m less and less convinced spraying is effective.” With human error, it’s been hit or miss anyway, he said. “It wards off the inevitable.”

– The town announced that magnesium chloride will be applied to streets for dust control on June 12 and 13.

– Two public hearings were set. The first was to gain public feedback about a possible inclusionary zoning ordinance that would create an affordable housing requirement in new development. Inclusionary zoning would require all new developments with five or more units to have a minimum of 10 percent of the units attainable, meaning marketed and sold to lower- and moderate-income families. The town board set the public hearing for July 14.

The other public hearing was set for June 23 to consider a water-rate increase. The town has been working through a consultant on a water-rate study, comparing expected revenues in the next decade with anticipated improvements.

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