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Sandy Springs strategy on adult biz DOA

Atlanta- Sandy Springs is waging war on “adult” businesses. Almost all of the new city’s council members said while campaigning that they wanted to either close down such businesses or make it harder for them to operate. Northside Opinions asked the owner [John Cornetta] of an adult-oriented business to weigh in from the other side of the issue.

Cornetta states: It never ceases to amaze me when politicians target adult entertainment to bring attention to their campaigns. Almost all of the new Sandy Springs officials ran on a platform that adult entertainment was ruining the city. It was the election’s catchall phrase.

I am an owner of an adult business in Sandy Springs, so many people will say that my opinion is biased. However, I am also a home-owner in Sandy Springs and one of its higher-paying taxpayers.

It appears to me that the money being spent to try to close adult entertainment venues would be better spent on more pressing needs: road development, the alleviation of traffic congestion, to combat crime and to address the illegal immigrant situation.

You see, a study has already been done in Fulton County in the Flannigans’ case. This study showed that adult entertainment does not lower property values or raise crime. Because of this study, the city has a huge uphill battle to close these establishments.

What the people need to know is that you cannot legislate adult entertainment out of existence. The courts have already expressed this. It is a protected form of speech. Cities can use crime studies to regulate these businesses. However, in light of a study done in and around Sandy Springs that shows no adverse effects, the city is in a no-win situation.

Sandy Springs needs to meet with each owner of these adult businesses and work out a win-win situation. It would not be hard to do. The owners of these businesses would have to sacrifice some, as would the politicians of Sandy Springs. If everyone is willing, I hereby volunteer to meet with the city to head this up. This situation could be over tomorrow, meaning the city would save the hundreds of thousands of dollars it would otherwise lose to fight this cause.

There are people who want these services. If not, our businesses would not be in business. This is how the free-market system works. And, yes, the city has legitimate concerns that need to be addressed. However, the way it is going about it is not the right way. As someone who has fought over these same issues with both Gwinnett and Fulton counties, and won, take it from me – the only real winner is the lawyers.

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