Thursday, October 05, 2006

Mays Blames Savoy's Defeat On Racism

In an unfortunate turn of events, Bill Mays, one of the city's most succcessfull African-American businessmen, accused opponents of his Savoy nightclub of being racists. The club was dealt a major setback yesterday when the Metropolitan Development Commission voted 7-0 to reject the Savoy's rezoning petition. Mays, who is one of the principal investors in the controversial 300 East "private club/bar" in the Julia Carson Government Center, permitted the lounge to be converted into a dance club two years ago without bothering to obtain the necessary zoning approval. Sound familiar? The Savoy sits next to a nursing home and across the street from St. Vincent's hospital. Reacting to the Savoy's defeat, the Star's Will Higgins writes:

Tillman, the Savoy's manager, said that without live entertainment he'd probably shutter the place. He said he would first consult with his investors.

One of them, businessman Bill Mays, said he'd advise throwing in the towel.
"If the neighborhood doesn't want it, fine -- it's their loss," Mays said.

Mays blames the Savoy's problems on racism. He noted that most of the Savoy's patrons were black, as were its managers. The surrounding neighborhood is mostly white.

"The conclusion I could come to is, this city doesn't want black people to have nice establishments," he said.

Mays also is part of a different investment group seeking regulatory approval to open a bar in the Carson Government Center. That group, which has met resistance, wants its own zoning variance and goes before the Metropolitan Development Commission on Nov. 1.

What is amazing about the Savoy problem, which has been brewing for more than a year, is how Mays repeated the same mistake at 300 East, where he and the other investors invested more than $500,000 to build out space in the Julia Carson Government Center for a "private club/bar" without bothering to get the necessary zoning and building permits, not to mention failing to execute a formal lease with Center Township Trustee Carl Drummer. There is a reason zoning laws and building codes exist. Mays is being treated as anyone should be when one ignores the formal processes which have been implemented to avoid these very problems. To throw down the race card at this point is completely unbecoming of Mays.

The United Way of Central Indiana would be wise to pull its television ads featuring an appeal from Mays for support. He's lost his effectiveness as a community leader by trampling all over the rights of the people living near the Savoy and the Mapleton/Fall Creek neighborhoods and then having the audacity to accuse them of being racists for simply asking that our laws be obeyed. Shame on you Bill Mays.


Anonymous said...

I could not have said this better myself Gary. So let me get this straight - in the world of Bill Mays, blacks can do as they please, violate any laws or regulations, and for anyone to say "no" is racist?

I thought so. Their true colors are coming through.

Jeff Newman said...

Hailstone, you were doing fine until you said:

"Their true colors are coming through."

In the context of your comment, which was directed at all blacks, that is one of the most racist things I've ever seen posted on a blog like this.

Sir, your true colors have come through loud and clear.

Wilson46201 said...

I think we are seeing that GOP pseudo-monarchist's true color coming through: Jim Crow white.

This blog is attracting quite the winger crowd nowadays. What bothers them is the fact the Blog owner is openly gay. It cuts down on the open homophobia these nutcases display so openly elsewhere...

Anonymous said...

I agree wholeheartedly with Jeff Newman and Wilson46201 both. (particularly about all the wingnuts who are inhabiting this blog)

But, I agree with Sir Hailstone in that AI has it right this time. It's dissapointing that a community leader like Bill Mays, who has done much for our community at large in Indianapolis, would charge that rasism is behind the regulators' actions relative to his bar(s).

I am saddened that he might somehow diminish the United Way Campaing with his public association.

Sir Hailstone said...


That was NOT directed at ALL blacks. That was directed at a small group:

Bill Mays, Monroe Gray, Ron Gibson, Lonell "KingRo" Conley, Carl Drummer, and the others behind the 300 East kerfuffle.

I'll admit 50+ years ago a small group of whites did things. It wasn't right then. Now when a small group of blacks does it we're supposed to condone it? No. It's not right now.

And Wilson where have YOU seen me post items of homophobia that you just claimed? *hearing crickets* Thought so. More verbal diahrrea from the mouth of the extreme leftist.

Anonymous said...

Well Wilson, if you actually knew a bleeping thing about this case, you'd have known this:

The club operated openly as a restaurant for 14-18 months, albeit unsuccessfully. When they switched to live entertainment, their zoning category shifted, as well. Live entertainment is not allowed in a Hospital District without a variance from the Metro Development Commission. There are reasons for that. Mr. Mays, nor the neighbors, did not write those ordinances. They are long-standing. The cllub owners were notified of the violation, and chose to operate openly in violation and "take their chances."

Messrs. Mays and Company tried to play their $ cards at City Hall. A full year later, the club still operated in open violation of the ordinance. So, evidently, some people can violate the law for awhile. It must be a matter of degrees of violation.

The neighbors had to spend hundreds of hours gathering evidence and bringing this violation forward, or the club would still be operating. The live entertainment brought with it large crowds. Those crowds were noisy, sloppy and rude. A nursing home is 35 feet from the club. A housing addition is 100 yards away. Do the math.

Mr. Mays played the race card here, and shame on him. His well-earned money doesn't necessarily mean he has class or smarts. A smart investor would've worked with neighbors at the outset to try to mollify the situation.

In les spolite circles, the clubowners' actions would be called "bullyish."

Regardless what Mr. Mays says, and Amos is no doubt going to say today, ordinances do matter.

Kudos for Councilwoman Angela Mansfield's standing up to this nonsense. Watch the Center Twp. Dem leadership oppose her next year. They're not pleased with her devotion to law and order.

Tell me this, Wilson: why is adherence to the law somehow different for some people? And why is the race card played, as it is in the 300 East case, when the laws appear to have been skirted?

It's not black or white. It's just simple ordinances.

Anonymous said...

And I'm not the only one with the opinion that Bill Mays is a reverse racist. Note Bakerboy of Indy Undercover.

Anonymous said...

For one who lives in close proxmity to the Savoy, I suppose Bill Mays can consider a knife stabbing, glass cuts, an attempted rape, noise at 3:00 am, enough to wake those who are asleep, to be "our loss." Shame on us for not wanting this behavior in our community. It isn't black or white, it is behavior. Similar remonstrances have been held against white and Latino clubs as well. Those cases don't make newsprint.

Anonymous said...

Plus Bill Mays' Savoy submitted a fraudulent petition in support of its nightclub with "signatures" from Beubeuf, Kroger, O'Malias, MCL, Athens on 86th, etc. All were bogus. One business owner's signature was forged and misspelled. Most did not even have employees with names on the petition. Is this criminal? Mays' arrogance that he and others are above the law is disgusting. Money doesn't buy morals or ethics.

Ravekid said...

"I am saddened that he might somehow diminish the United Way Campaing with his public association."

Charity starts at the home anyways. Every year United Way begs me for money, every year I give none. Too many people running the organization getting rich in my opinion. Wasn't there protests years ago about the head of the United Way living like a king or something? Patzetta Trice, who is claimed to be on the board of the local United Way, is an investor in this new bar for black professionals in the Julia Carson building. Wonder how much money she invested? If these executives care so much about others, wouldn't her investment have been given to charity instead?

I can somewhat understand Mays fustration. For years, the white guys that ran the city pulled things like this all the time and make a killing. Now folks are up in arms about this club, the bar, etc.. All I can say is that back in the day, no one cared too much. Almost anyone could get a fat paying union job and live a nice life. Today, it is harder to live. Add to that out-of-control governments and it is no wonder folks want to put VIPs and elected hacks under the microscope.

Jocelyn-Tandy Adande said...

Advance Indiana:

Response to Anonymous 1140 and 2:33

I attended the Commission meeting on Wednesday when the vote was taken to close the Savoy Restaurant & Nightclub.

I will confirm the information in your comments. It was presented under oath to the Commission by representatives for St. Vincent’s Hospital, Nora Neighborhood Assn., Pike Neighborhood Assn., North Hampton Homeowner's Assn. and the Nursing Home owners, Angela Mansfield, district councilor

The Commission Members appeared to be puzzled when it was disclosed that the letters of support for the club from neighboring businesses were each forged and fraudulent.

Personally, I believe that was the final nail in the coffin for the Savoy. Mr. Tillman testified that his manager brought the letters to him, and he assumed that they were
valid letters of support.

No, this decision was not based on race at all. 143 police runs within the last year. An increase in crimes in the area.

For the record the nursing home in question is within 40 feet of the club. It houses a majority of African American senior citizens.
They began to complain to the owners about the noise and drunken strangers wandering around the facility at all hours. They also called their Councilwoman for help.

Mr. Mays and the other investors do not have the right to disturb the peace and quality of life for others with their investments.

The decision to close the Savoy was in no way a case of racism!

The system did work for those residents in the area after 14 months.

300 East variance hearing was continued to November 1st.

indyernie said...

I posted this in another blog today...who would know that it would apply to another blog so soon..

"Racism will never die the death that it deserves, until Blacks and Whites alike allow it to.
That’s my opinion and I believe, that only and idiot would want racism to continue."

Anonymous said...

I'm going to give Mr. Mays the benefit of the doubt, given all he has done for this city. I'll choose to believe he did not knnw his club managers and/or other investors:

1. Forged the names of "supporters" on letters to the commission

2. Were part and parcel to over 130 police runs in the last 11 months...for fights, assaults, disturbing the peace, etc.

3. Transformed a small strip center into a weekend trash dump of beer cans, needles, bottles and trash of all kinds

4. Got away with live entertainment in a Hospital Zone, strictly forbidden by city code.

Nothing good comes from ill-begotten gains...

The club can continune to operate without live music. The owners have publicly insulted the neighborhood and won't likely count on them for support.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

i know for a fact, none of you people have attended this so happy to be living in!needles,drugs come on hoosiers dont flatter yourselfs!