Leventhal Defends DLC’s Bad Service

New Slogan? We Don’t Care. We Don’t Have To. We’re the DLC.

Last week, we reported that Department of Liquor Control stores completely fouled up deliveries in the week before New Year’s. Now, DLC Director George Griffin did issue an apology. But that doesn’t restore any of the lost income or makeup for the stress caused by  this total snafu.

Real accountability would mean rebates. Even more galling is that time was found to distribute material to defend the DLC in stores even as this mistake occurred. It also undermines the DLC claim that their reform program has produced meaningful results.

Councilmember Roger Berliner thinks that this is yet more evidence that it is time for the DLC to go the way of the dinosaur:

Berliner

Leventhal Attacks Berliner on Facebook

Councilmember George Leventhal came out swinging in comments on his colleague’s Facebook posts:

LeventhalonrestRestaurants are a major industry in Montgomery County. Beyond his misguided self-serving beliefs, saying that liquor reform is only of interest to restaurateurs is like saying that education is only of interests to parents so people should really quit their complaining. I’m sure restaurant owners appreciate George’s relegation of their repeat problems to illegitimate concerns.

BTW, restaurants are not flourishing as much as we might hope. Elm St. in Bethesda Row is one of the hottest blocks in the county with high pedestrian traffic. Right now, there are three empty restaurant spots on the block with one more store ready to close. In Silver Spring, Jackie’s is calling it a day and Jackie Greenbaum says she’d never open another restaurant in MoCo–it’s just too difficult.

The Starbucks Defense

But hey, George has the Starbucks defense:

leventhalstarbucksOf course, the difference is that, if you have a problem at Starbucks, you’re likely to get a good response to a complaint. They want you as a customer. If not, you have the option to shop elsewhere. But the DLC Monopoly forces consumers and businesses alike to deal with them. Eerily reminiscent of the legendary Lily Tomlin SNL skit posted at the top regarding the phone company monopoly: “We Don’t Care. We Don’t Have To. We’re the Phone Company.”

George’s blithe dismissal of major problems at the DLC–even those affecting major customers who were buying a lot more than a latte and whose livelihoods depend on it–shows an alarming lack of concern for constituents or willingness to listen. In George’s view, mediocrity in a monopoly government service is acceptable–a level of contempt that his constituents should not.