By Danielle Skinner
WACO--On Tuesday's council meeting police proposed a new ordinance to council members that would help cut down noise complaints from residents who live near clubs--while business owners claimed the are getting unfair treatment from police officers.
Local club property owner Randy Gober came to city council with not only a plea to rid a dance ordinance, but he came with supporters--who brought signs. They held them up and protested while the Waco police department proposed a new dance-hall ordinance that would help fix a long list of problems.
"We've had large crowds, we've had traffic congestions, streets blocked, we've had fights and criminal offenses--also minors in possession," said chief of police Brent E. Stroman.
Police say the ordinance would require club owners everywhere to abide by stricter rules regarding noise, crowd control, and require specific permits. Gober also claims some clubs aren't required to abide by a certain set of rules, while others aren't.
"It's so many other clubs around here without dance hall permits but all the Black clubs have one."
He also says police want to use the ordinance to close businesses, but police say it's not like that at all.
"We're not trying to shut down anybody if the business is operating in a proper manner within the rules and regulations then that's great, that's what we want," Stroman said.
"If they were trying to get something that works for the both of us they would come and assist us instead of hurt us," said Gober.
Even though club owners and police aren't dancing to the same beat on the ordinance, council members agreed it should be re-written. They said it was too broad and the language makes it hard to enforce.
City officials said they don't want to shut any clubs down, but plan to work with Waco PD, business owners, and residents to create an ordinance that's fair.
Council members plan on holding a meeting in the future to discuss what rules the new ordinance will include.
Revision: Due to a misunderstanding, while airing this story News Channel 25 aired a shot of a business called "Old School". Old School has nothing to do with Waco PD's new proposed Dance Hall ordinance. We apologize for any confusion on the subject matter.