Mollica Overridden, Planning Commissioners Agree Cancelling Jazz Concert Was Mistake, Show Will Go On Minus Booze

Written by on July 28, 2022

The Planning Commission has overridden the city staff… and has decided by a unanimous vote to allow the planned Sunset Jazz Festival to take place… this Saturday on a city-owned vacant lot.

Planning Commissioners voted 5 to nothing to agree with the applicant … who said banning the concert after 2 thousand tickets had been sold was too severe. 

The concert promoter … Henry Baxter … said he hired a company to get the event a temporary liquor sales permit.

City planning director Richard Mollica got highly offended when he discovered that the supposed liquor license was fake. 

His lawyer …  …. argued that the music company hired a permit expediter who made a mistake.

Submitting an invalid license  … and that was made moot when the producer immediately dropped plans to sell beer and wine during there concert.

The city says the concert organizers lied on their application … that they applied for their temporary use permit with a state liquor sales permit that had been fraudulently obtained. 

His attorney … Bruce Ishamatsu… said there was no fraud.


“Mr Mollica calls the liquor license ‘invalid.’  Not ‘fraudulent.’

“He then argues that the vendors’ submission of an invalid license means that Mr. Baxter, the applicant, obtained the T U P (Temporary Use Permit) in a fraudulent manner.

“That reveals the unreasonableness of his argument.”

And all five commissioners agreed.

Planning Commissioner Jeff Jennings this morning argued that it’s not the city’s job to slap the applicant’s wrists for the mistake. 

The other four planning commissioners agreed.

Baxter had rented the “chili cook-off site” from the city … it’s the large vacant lot on Civic Center Way in the heart of the city.

The Sunset Jazz Group has sold tickets … maybe several thousand tickets …  starting at 70 dollars a head.

Some tickets were being sold for 266 dollars per person … for VIP tables and two bottles of wine.

Headliners for the concert are smooth jazz artists Najee … Freda Payne … and Will Downing.

Baxter’s lawyer says the jazz promoter has already sold more than 2,000 tickets for the Sunday jazz concert. “Mr. Baxter has incurred substantial financial obligations that will cause him severe damage if the event is cancelled.”

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