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Cash For Liquor Consent Sent Packing In Kansas City

Acting on complaints that the operator of a center-city convenience store was paying residents for permission to get a liquor license, the Kansas City Council has banned the practice.

The method was billed as “$50 for 5 minutes,” as paper handbills stating just that were presented to members of the Council.

Neighbors had blocked the license in the Oak Park Neighborhood. But Councilwoman Melba Curls said she  was later given fliers by a resident that were offering $50 for a brief  'consultation,” after which signing a  consent form was to help the store get a liquor license.  It was perfectly legal, until the council acted today.

She said the district needs a grocery, not another place to buy liquor. “We were appalled.  We didn’t know people were offering money.  I don’t know that they do in any other area. But she lives in the central city.”

Curls noted she had found in the same area, “there’s another liquor store right down the street, next block.  And there’s also a school, two schools in the block after that.”

Councilman Ed Ford drew up the proposal to fight the practice and it passed without dissent. Council action will invalidate any future liquor license applications if resident-consents come after their being given any consideration, including cash.

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