Those affiliated with Southern City Lounge in downtown Statesboro say the establishment is being targeted by the City of Statesboro…and undeservingly so.
Kevin Wilkes appeared before the City Council during Tuesday’s public comment portion of the meeting, telling officials he wished to make comments on fairness.
Wilkes referenced two council meetings prior, at which time city officials discussed the recent ruling by an administrative judge which declared Southern City Lounge a ‘threat to public safety.’
He first stated that the report of 44 incidents attributed to the establishment by the police department included ‘wrong information.’ Wilkes told council members that he and other SCL employees were the ones to contact police on a few occasions because of medical issues of patrons, like a seizure, and that no one had otherwise been hurt at the business during those incidents.
“We’ve been labeled a danger to the public a and threat to public safety. We haven’t had anyone get hurt there,” he said. “Other establishments have had murders and have seen people killed and we don’t see the same targeting coming to them that’s coming to us. At the last council meeting, Councilman Boyum said that the way people were dressed, he could tell which way they were going. WE haven’t had any problems until a certain business opened but I can’t say that was related to that. Councilman Boyum, I guess he frequents that establishment.”
He also said the shooting downtown two months ago had nothing to do with Southern City Lounge. “It happened on a side street.”
“When you’re in a position of authority and you label someone, you label their business….We just want to be treated fair,” Wilkes said.
Wilkes spoke for several minutes before Councilman Boyum and Councilwoman Paulette Chavers responded to him and then had a terse discussion amongst themselves.
Comments by Wilkes in their entirety – as well as council discussion – are clipped in the video below.