Licensing Board: Polish Community Club has 1 month to decide on reopening
PITTSFIELD — The Polish Community Club has a month to decide if it wants to re-open under new management.
On Monday, the Pittsfield Licensing Board urged the ethnic organization to determine its fate during a membership meeting scheduled for Aug. 21 and report back to the board at its late August meeting. The 232-member club is expected to vote on a new board of directors, which in turn would make a recommendation on a new manager for the liquor license, dormant for 19 months. The later decision would require another meeting, according to club representative John Kerwood.
Failure to do so could result in the five-member panel rescinding the license and taking it out of circulation at just as it did last month yanking a four-year-old unused license once held by the former Debbie Wong restaurant on Dalton Avenue.
Neither Kerwood or the board wants that to happen.
"I want everyone working together to open up the club, that is my goal," said John Kerwood, representing the club.
"We want to put this to bed, by that, I don't mean eternal rest," added board Chairman Carmen C. Massimiano.
However, Richard "Dick" Walsh sounded the death knell believing the club's time as come, even though the life-long club member and one-time board of director member wishes it could re-open.
"In my opinion, the license should be taken ... the population isn't there to support this organization," Walsh told the board.
The social gathering place on Linden Street has been closed since Jan. 1 2015 as members have attempted to reorganize after the liquor license manager of record Stella Spence died two years ago.
Kerwood told the board in late March he had notified club members and set a membership meeting for April 24, during which time a new slate of club officers and a manager for the bar liquor license would be selected. The meeting never took place and club representatives failed to appear before the board in May for an update, prompting the threat of license revocation for future no-shows.
Kerwood has been the only club member to attend recent board meetings to give club updates, which often involve rehashing the difficulty to get members motivated to re-open the club.
"You would think if this is important to the community, members would show up," said Thomas Campoli of the Licensing Board.
However, the internal turmoil isn't the city's concern, according to the Licensing Board's Richard Stockwell.
"We need a manager to go with the [liquor] license," he said. "We don't want to get involved in persnal matters [ of the club.]"
Contact Dick Lindsay at 413-496-6233
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