City Of Williston Thinks Strip Clubs Will Hurt Its Image

UK, England, London, Park Royal, Table Top Dancing Club

The City of Williston, in the midst of massive economic growth that is straining municipal infrastructure, is tackling the really important issues. Namely, the idea that the city’s two strip club hurt its image and drive away development.

WILLISTON, N.D. — Williston officials have appointed a committee to review the city’s adult entertainment ordinance.

Mayor Ward Koeser tells the Williston Herald that he and other members of the city commission are getting complaints about the two strip clubs in town.

Koeser says one goal of the new committee is to determine if adult entertainment industry businesses should be located in the city.

The mayor says some residents are worried about Williston’s image. Koeser says there also are concerns about the strip clubs’ close proximity to the Chamber of Commerce building.

He says that could leave a bad impression with developers considering setting up shop in Williston.

First, the notion that strip clubs in Williston are going to drive developers away from the housing boom is ridiculous. Meddling by the state and federal government in the city’s housing markets is likely to drive away, or inhibit, more development than the strip clubs. The more the state and/or federal government talks about possibly subsidizing development in the Williston area the more developers will hold off on that development until they see what the government is offering.

I doubt that any developer considering building in the Williston area cares much about the city’s two strip clubs.

But going further, what about property rights? Strip clubs are a perfectly legal enterprise (indeed, one of my hometown’s two strip clubs is owned by a city councilman). Are we really to believe that the city can order these businesses to move off their property simply because some in the city find the businesses to be something less than tasteful?

So much for living in a free society, I guess.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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