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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.

Keep Galloway Green July 27, 2011 at 03:30 AM
It is not neccesary for a business owner to speak to residents before bringing a business to the township?.....So when Galloway sells the Municipal Complex....they can bring in anything they want....Strip Club....Abortion Clinic....anything....in the "Town Center"....What a joke!.....Oppose Galloways Plan to sell Soccer Fields & Municipal Complex...Don't let politicians ruin Galloway!!!!! Soccer Fields are more important than Burger Kings....Strip clubs.
Al DeSimone July 27, 2011 at 08:41 AM
Galloway Green, your running mate has courage to sign his name. This has gone on long enough. Sign your name. Also, Patch reader may think you are an Eagle fan. Eagle fans are not cowards.
Lisa Boone July 27, 2011 at 11:06 AM
I want to personally thank the only person of Galloway TWP Council. The Deputy Mayor Don Purdy, the Chief of Police Patrick Moran, who talked to me personal during and after the meeting last night. And to all local residents who did attend the meeting last night. For taken the time and listen to the residents that will be affected by this. Thank you... And to Galloway Green your right he has his rights to do what ever he wants with his building. And your right he doesn't have to a least sit down with the local resident / his neighbors that live next to his business. But a good businessman would. The past owner did do that at one point. And it was a very for all of us.
Jim McElwee July 27, 2011 at 12:14 PM
Anybody that has ever been inside this building can easily imagine the potential it has for a more Family oriented restaurant. I have to wonder what led Mr. Stamelos to go in this direction. I hope he would rethink this venture after seeing how his neighbors feel about this. You have a Liquor license Sir, create an upscale Wine Shoppe and Cafe that is a better fit for this neighborhood. I am not telling you how to run your bussiness, just offering suggestions based on the storm this issue has seemed to create.
Keep Galloway Green July 27, 2011 at 01:46 PM
Newsflash!....I'm not running for anything!....Why would you like my name Mr De Simone?....Are you gonna give me an award?...lol...Request Denied!....
Rodger Smith July 27, 2011 at 03:08 PM
Mr. Desimone - since you are a former councilman maybe you can answer the question posed to Terry which has been left unanswered - "can you name some specific examples of how this 7 year republican council rule has made life better for Galloway citizens??" Still waiting.............
Keep Galloway Green July 27, 2011 at 05:19 PM
Maybe I should run as a write-in candidate?......If you don't like any of the candidates...vote for the Green Giant!!!.....There...now I'm running!.....lolololol
Al DeSimone July 27, 2011 at 09:24 PM
Galloway Green, I would give you the C.P. award. "Coward Phantom." Rodger, I have been off council for a while. I read Patch, Current -Press as I have family and many, many friends in Galloway. The issues that elected official face are complex. I would love to meet with you in person to discuss this council or any past council actions dating back to 1995. This is when I took an interest in Galloway politics. Please contact me on Facebook.
Lisa Boone July 27, 2011 at 10:22 PM
I also wanted to thank Tom Bassford listening to our concerns about the gentlemen's club.
Red July 28, 2011 at 02:48 AM
Is Mrs Jezycki the new council mouthpiece? Why is she defending their inaction in this matter and Purdy's non-response "If you want to fix it, Trenton's the place to go?" If council had any capable members, when they heard that Stamlos wanted to put a gentlemen's club in the township, they'd have approached him and asked him to re-consider and perhaps try to work with him on finding a more township friendly use for his building. McElwee made a good suggestion --why couldn't anyone on the current council have done the same? These are the people who are supposed to be bringing businesses into Galloway -- Stamlos is already here with other businesses-- why not reach out to help him create another successful business instead of sitting at the meetings like a bunch of boobs with no answers? I guess when you are busy trying to fire the township clerk and accusing one of your fellow councilmen of blowing the whistle on you for wage theft, the mayor and his buddies don't have time to actually do anything that is constructive for the township.
Rodger Smith July 28, 2011 at 03:27 AM
Mr. Desimone - Thank you for at least responding to me unlike Terry. I am growing very weary of the name calling tactics (in which I have addressed recent offenders - check my comments) on the Patch. This skirts the intelligent discussion that should take place. We can have an intelligent discussion here - can't we? As a former elected representative, I would expect that you still hold yourself to the high standard of being in that position and not continue to reduce yourself to the level of name-calling.
Al DeSimone July 28, 2011 at 08:41 AM
Rodger-If it is ever confirmed that Galloway Green was not (is not) a candidate for office I will aplogize to him-her ??? I believe the truth prevails and he-she? will be exposed. I dont feel I am reducing myself by stating the truth. Galloway Green is a coward.
Lisa Boone July 28, 2011 at 11:02 AM
Red, When I went up to voice my concerns at the meeting. The Council sat there shaken their heads agreeing with me. And the only ones that did respond and take the time to talk to me were the Dupty Mayor Deputy Don Purdy, the Chief of Police Patrick Moran, Tom Bassford, Mrs Jezycki and a few Residents. There nothing they can do. It's his business he is in the legal right. The State of New Jersey says this type of business is entertainment. To which I couldn't believe but it's true. I plan on being at all the meetings for now on. And I will learn all I can about zoning rules and codes. Mr Stamlos plans on having a restaurant and gentlemens at the same time. And will only have his liquor license only in his restaurant. Many say he will mess up and the ABC will remove his liquor license.
Keep Galloway Green July 28, 2011 at 03:35 PM
Mr De Simone....You've fallen into the trap of internet bickering. Not a good road to go down on the internet super highway. Name calling is standard procedure on the internet. Just makes you look bad. .....Back on topic....If Galloway can't stop this Gentlemen's Club.....How will they stop all nite strip clubs...abortion clinics....or any other undesirable business from opening at the Municipal Complex?.....No....I'm not running for any office....but if people want to write in vote the Green Giant....go ahead...make my day!....lol
Rodger Smith July 28, 2011 at 05:14 PM
Mr. Desimone - I can see your obsession with Keep Galloway Green - but why are we still not having a discussion regarding the progress made by this 7 year republican rule? No one wants to address this to[pic. Why?
Keep Galloway Green July 28, 2011 at 05:25 PM
Rodger what did this council do that was note worthy?....Put a new sign up?....Fight the DEP for 3 years to sell soccer fields?....They made Hartman Mayor!....( Fantastic!) Hire & fire Tees?....Get rid of Tilton?...Did they fix any vandalism at the Gazebo at the Lake...or the Hot Dog Stand?....Why did they build a Hot Dog stand & never sell hot dogs?.....They did change the bicycle path around Galloway Lake to no bicycles. Imagine that....a bike path with no bikes!....So what have they done?....Good question!
Lisa Boone July 28, 2011 at 11:53 PM
It seems we are getting way off the subjuct here. This is a commercial property. Any property zoned for commercial can become a so called gentlemen's club. The State of New Jersey say it's just entertainment. It will be intresting to see who just who will be visiting the gentlemen's club in the early morning hours?? I have always supported all local business in Galloway. But I will never step foot in any of Mr Stamlos place of business. In fact I tell everyone to NEVER to do business with him. But I do wonder how many people will also do the same and not go to his diners, car wash?? Just a thought....
catherine wood July 29, 2011 at 03:45 AM
This sounds like the only real action anyone can take. Which car wash does he own? I will not be going to either of his diners again. No more money from me.
Damon Taylor July 29, 2011 at 04:55 AM
Al - You must have went to the same school of politics as Gov. Christie with your bullying methods. I, too, follow the Press, Patch, Current and I watch Council meetings on TV. With that being said - (Rodger and Green) I am not happy with this Hartman team. I moved down here just as this group entered office. My welcome to Galloway was a 7 cent tax increase. The reason given to citizens was that then governor - Corzine withheld aid. Well in my recent memory the current governor has withheld aid but no negative word has ever been mentioned. Why not? Who are they representing Christe or Galloway citizens?
Damon Taylor July 29, 2011 at 04:56 AM
Here's a small portion of what I have seen that I am not happy about. I have seen the police force that was near 80 reduced to now 57. Let's be honest, - adding 4 more police officers is not going to put us back to where we were. I have seen services reduced such as bulk/leaf pickup. I have seen my sewer bill rise from $285 to $345 – a 21% increase. I have seen the administration attack Township employee rights. I have seen them hire and fire managers. I have seen Jill Gougher resign. I have seen them allow the Tilton situation to get out of control. I have seen no business development to ease the tax burden. There's more but I will stop for now. I agree - Al - the truth will prevail. Lisa - I like your attitude of acquiring more knowledge. This is not off the track - these issues are related because this an example of how they try to pull the wool over citizens eyes. You received a "pat" on the back and they are hoping you go away. Don't! Honestly, they could have done more - believe me - if that Gentleman's club was being proposed next to their home - they would not be hiding behind "It's the law" excuse. They would be working the back channels to stop it from happening. Why won't they do this for you?
Lisa Boone July 29, 2011 at 10:33 AM
Thank you Catherine.. :)
Lisa Boone July 29, 2011 at 10:48 AM
Thank you Damon.. :) I won't be going away and I'm sure more could have been done. I'm going to qoute Mr.Stamlos Lawyer Daily said that, in general, most people don't care, or they support this type of entertainment in other towns. "There's always a vocal group of people who have the worst ideas about entertainment with a sexy motif," Daily said. " ... You're always going to get a group that gets vocal and upset, and that's their right to do that." At first when this article came out it he called us a small minority. Then before I could respond it was changed. I may be small but I have a voice. And I won't be going away. And the minority was a poor choice of words to use.
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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