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Young Life fundraiser draws liquor license objection

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One complaint, written under a fictitious name, brought a special events liquor license request before the Delta City Council.

Council recently adopted an ordinance that allows liquor license renewals and special event requests to be handled administratively by city clerk Jolene Nelson -- as long as approval is straightforward.

Whenever an objection is received, a hearing must be set before the city council.

Such was the case with a fundraiser being planned by Young Life.

"Zenn Penn" wrote, "It is truly a bad idea to grant a liquor license to a group who is supposed to be setting a good example for our youth to follow. They are sending mixed messages. On the one hand, they tell the kids don't drink and don't do drugs. Then they want to sell alcohol to the parents to raise money."

The letter writer urged councilmembers to deny the application. "Make it about the kids," he said.

City attorney David McConaughy discussed the grounds on which an application could be denied. He concluded by saying staff could find no reason to recommend denial for Young Life's permit.

City manager David Torgler questioned whether the objection is even acceptable, since the writer used a pseudonym.

"I think it speaks for itself," McConaughy said. The letter writer was invited to comment during the public hearing, but no one stepped forward. Jolene Nelson said she knows the letter writer's legal name, but was told he preferred to use his "pen name."

Young Life director Ty Gallenbeck, and several volunteer leaders, were in the audience. Gallenbeck explained the wine/beer/food tasting event is modeled after similar events in neighboring communities. The event is in celebration of Young Life's 75th birthday.

After offering his congratulations on 75 years of Young Life, councilmember Gerald Roberts said he agreed with the letter writer, but could find no legal grounds for denying the application.

"I think the good Young Life does overshadows the letter writer's point," said councilmember Bill Raley.

The application was unanimously approved.

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