The Licensing Commission consists of three members who are appointed by the Mayor, a police officer who is assigned as the Commission’s investigator, and the executive secretary.
The Licensing Commission is charged with the responsibility of issuing various types of alcohol licenses, common victualer, innholder, entertainment and dance licenses, adopting and enforcing rules and regulations pertaining to such licenses as well as local ordinances and laws. The Commission determines the amount of license fees and the hours of operation in accordance with local and state laws.
The number of liquor licenses available for the city to issue was determined by the adoption of a Home Rule Petition in 1980 that was amended in 2001.
Additionally, the Commission acts on complaints received from public safety officials, elected officials and the general public relative to alleged violations of its rules and regulations, Massachusetts General Laws and/or local ordinances by food, liquor or entertainment establishments in the city. Complaints are investigated, and if warranted, a hearing is held. If an establishment is found in violation, sanctions are levied against the establishment that may include a license modification, suspension, revocation or reduction in hours.