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Galloway Residents Speak Out Against Gentlemen's Club at Council Meeting

Fears about potential for what's to come voiced at Tuesday night's meeting.

Galloway Township resident Lisa Boone said she knows what's going to happen when a becomes a reality in Galloway Township.

"You know what's going to happen," she told the Galloway Council at its meeting during the public comment portion on Tuesday night, July 26. "Shame on you."

"It's not them," resident told her in defense of the council during the public comment portion. "If there was anything they could legally do about it, they would."

Boone understood that, and apologized to the council, but said she was frustrated and upset.

Everyone who spoke about the issue felt the same way.

Residents were angry about the gentlemen's club Galloway business owner Perry Stamelos intends to bring to the township, in the place currently occupied by his Vienna Inn. Stamelos made a presentation at last week's Planning Board meeting.

"We're going to get the gentlemen's club," Jezycki said. "I never thought I would see that happen, and I'm not happy about it. I'd rather see a different type of business go there. It diminishes us, and I'm not an advocate of it. It's not the reason people move here with their children."

"It's a disgrace," Boone said. "I never thought I would see the day. How will this benefit Galloway?"

The club is subject to restrictions because it is within 1,000 feet of a residential area, Galloway Planning Board Attorney Mike Fitzgerald said. Those restrictions include no nudity and no contact between the patrons and the dancers.

However, Boone doesn't believe the rules will be followed and that there will be trouble outside the club eventually. She said she had a problem with the nightclub's predecessor, the Omni, and that she wouldn't hesitate to call the police if necessary.

"Every time something happens, we can't have the police going out there," Jezycki said. "The township just hired new officers, but we don't have the power to send them out there every five minutes."

"If there is a problem there, their liquor license will be removed," Deputy Mayor Don Purdy said.

Purdy asked Stamelos during last week's Planning Board meeting if he had questioned residents as to whether this is something they'd be comfortable with having in Galloway Township. Stamelos stated that he had, and on Tuesday night, Boone denied ever being asked.

"He never spoke with any of us," Boone said. "We're all willing to sit down and to this gentleman. This (change) is a lot for us."

Stamelos' attorney Michael Daily stated that Stamelos spoke with one resident, who said he was in favor of the club on Monday afternoon.

He also stated it isn't necessary for business owners to speak with residents before bringing a proposed business into the town.

“Sexually oriented businesses” are not permissible within 1,000 feet of a residential area, but the definition for “sexually oriented business” is a business which features actual nudity or other specified lewd activities. The proposal for this business doesn’t fall under that category.

The club will feature VIP rooms and private dancing rooms, with restricted access. According to the review, the owner has indicated that activities that take place in these areas won’t violate the restrictions of the state Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

"We understand your concerns," Purdy said. "This is what we must abide by. It's state law. If you want to fix it, Trenton's the place we need to go."

Also at Tuesday night's meeting:

* officers were officially sworn in; and

* also introduced his new partner Titan to the council.

Red July 29, 2011 at 01:15 PM
"There is nothing they can do." per Lisa in reference to Council. Lisa -- don't be naive. There is always something that people in or out of office can do. They can sit on their hands and say "not my problem" or they can work for a solution. My suggestion was that council get off it's collective duff and do something. Boycotting Mr. Stamlos' other businesses is totally counter-productive because each of his businesses provideds tax ratables to the township thereby reducing all of our taxes. His businesses also provide jobs for residents who in turn pay taxes. He's a good businessman who obviously is considering a gentleman's club as a last resort for saving a failed property. Trust me when I say from long experience in business, he really doesn't want the headaches and additional costs that go with this kind of establishment but he's up against a wall and this is a possible solution. One needn't be a rocket scientist to see what's happening. The botttomline is that council could and should be pro-active and should have offfered to work with him to fill that building with a more acceptable business because that kind of business sends a message to every other business that may consider moving to the township. If this place was going to be near any council members home -- trust me --they'd be doing more than listening to your complaints like Bassford supposedly did. It's so easy to listen, it's a lot more difficult to acutally do something.
Lisa Boone July 29, 2011 at 03:57 PM
Your right Red.....
Keep Galloway Green July 29, 2011 at 04:05 PM
I'm thinking the real danger of this club is not when a guy puts a dollar bill in a girls g-string....it's when that guy has had too much to drink & gets on the highway. Also the traffic in & out of the club at all hours...& the occasional parking lot fight. ....All this could happen at the Municipal Complex if Galloway sells to developer.
Lisa Boone July 29, 2011 at 04:39 PM
They cant drink in the club only in the resturant part. And your right Red its all about money this will bring into the town. But like i said before this will all come with a cost. It called entertanment...
catherine wood July 29, 2011 at 05:13 PM
I understand your point about Mr Stamlos' other businesses. While I am sympathy for the employees, about much are we talking about in tax revenue vs. cost(ex: extra police patrols)? The Phoenix is Absecon. So tax dollars for Galloway. Isn't the car wash automatic? No or few employees there. So that just leaves the Galloway diner, Does that place make enough to ruin the tone of this township? When you drive to Egg Harbor City and see the "adult entertainment" businesses, does make you think of area that is moving forward? Both times I went to Christine's, it was disappointing. Maybe if it was a better reasturant ,the property wouldn't have failed.

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